Like many start-ups, Zeel was founded with one business in mind and then pivoted when we identified an unmet need. In 2010 we launched as a health-and-wellness booking platform targeting the alternative wellness market, which included consumers of massage, yoga, acupuncture and more.
However, our early market data told an interesting story. The vast majority of our customers wanted massages, and they wanted them right away — typically, in four hours or less. But the massage industry wasn't set up to take same-day, on-demand appointments.
A lightbulb went off. I was confident that we had identified an untapped segment of the $50 billion global massage industry — on-demand massage, wherever you are. Most people, including a few Zeel employees, thought the idea of on-demand massage was ridiculous. But after completing more than 25,000 massage bookings, the data was clear. We had spent considerable effort learning from customers and massage therapists what was necessary to make an on-demand, in-home massage successful.
In 2012 we built and launched Massage On Demand, inventing the on-demand and in-home massage category, and have been building and improving the business ever since.