When searching online for services to help you with a hobby or interest, chances are you end up with lists with phony companies. Betterfly hopes to solve this problem by providing a platform for individual service providers and service seekers to interact with each other. Betterfly is the first website of its kind to exclude companies, focusing on people instead, and that gives it a strategic advantage, says founder Joshua Schwadron. "When searching for someone to teach you Spanish, give you a massage or improve your yoga technique, it's more important to know who the best person is, rather than knowing just the name of a language school, spa or yoga studio," Schwadron says. "Imagine if eHarmony.com told you that your future wife worked at Citigroup, but left it up to you to figure out who she is. Now what?" Betterfly was born out of the 28-year-old Schwadron's personal frustrations with finding the right people to help him on his journey of personal betterment.
Betterfly provides a platform for Betterists (people who provide services) to create a highly-customizable profile page that Schwadron says is, "a mini-website that can be made in minutes." Betterists can promote their qualifications, services, special offers and payment policies, provide real-time availability, offer online appointment booking, upload resources such as instructional videos and lesson plans and manage their own blogs.
Betterists have the option to accept payments online through Betterfly for lessons, seminars, workshops and other appointments, and Betterfly will handle the credit card processing on their behalf. Clients can pre-pay for appointments through a Betterist's Site, and schedule those appointments with the Betterist at their convenience. Betterists can also send invoices to their clients for past or upcoming services. Paying online is free for clients, but Betterists are charged a 5% fee when each payment is received, to cover credit card and other processing fees. Once a Betterist’s Earnings are available, they can be withdrawn from Betterfly in the form of a check or by direct deposit, at any time.
Only those people whom Betterists have verified as clients can write reviews. Once verified, the client may review anonymously or under his or her own name. "Many sites are plagued by false reviews and character assassinations. On Betterfly, every review you read is from a client the Betterist has personally verified, even the anonymous ones," Schwadron explains.
Betterfly has secured a Series A round of capital funding from Lightbank, the Chicago-based investment vehicle created by Groupon founders Eric Lefkofsky and Brad Keywell.