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FrontDesk COO John Boyle and CEO Jon Zimmerman
Front Desk COO John Boyle and CEO Jon Zimmerman. (GeekWire Photo)

Front Desk, the Seattle startup that makes management, payment, and scheduling software used by a wide range of businesses, has raised an additional $1 million in funding from a new investor, Wave Maker Partners, a venture capital firm with offices in Los Angeles and Singapore.

The investment builds upon a $3.5 million Series A round that closed in January of this year. The capital will be used for investments in growth and efficiency, and improving the customer experience as Front Desk expands its client base, said John Boyle, the company’s chief operating officer, in an interview with GeekWire. Existing investors include Floodgate, Second Avenue Partners, Version One Ventures, and Rich Barton.

The money comes at a time of transition for Front Desk, said CEO Jon Zimmerman. Front Desk has been changing its internal practices to put a new emphasis on performance, accountability, efficiency and profitability. The changes were outlined in a strategic plan that Zimmerman began implementing in early January of this year, he said.

The company has doubled its revenue growth year-over-year for the last four years and plans to be profitable in mid-2017. Its customers range from yoga studios and cross-fit gyms to dog training schools and music schools, though Front Desk is looking to acquire more large business accounts, which currently make up one-third of its customer base.

Front Desk CEO Jon Zimmerman

Existing large clients include School of Rock, which Front Desk brought on board in 2014. It has 120 locations using the Front Desk software.

The changes in Front Desk’s internal practices have affected all levels of the company and have resulted in some turnover, Zimmerman said, so the company is looking a little different than it did six months ago.

The company made a series of job cuts last year as part of this transition. Some of Front Desk’s six co-founders have also moved on to different companies. However, those departures were mutually agreed upon and relationships remain friendly, Zimmerman said.

“When you’re a small startup with just a few people, there are few direct lines to accountability because everyone is doing a little of everything,” COO Boyle said in an interview. “But now that Front Desk is reaching its adolescence, it’s growing up, and we’re able to see more clearly what each person in each role in the company needs to be doing and whether they’re accomplishing those goals.”

Since the changes, the company has tripled its performance with a salesforce half the size of its team last year, Boyle said.

Front Desk currently employs 42, but is actively hiring for 5-6 positions, with an expectation of hiring even more over the coming year.

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