iRate – The new ‘Uber Eats’ of barbers
We interview the founder of iRate Barbers – Tony Rose
“My name is Tony Rose and I am the founder of iRate barbers – a tech startup that helps connect mobile barbers to customers all around New Zealand”.
Before Tony started iRate, he was playing basketball in the United States and was scouted to play division 1 NCAA basketball before receiving the unfortunate news from doctors that he would not be able to play basketball ever again, due to health reasons. Thus began his entrepreneurial route, which included a firewood business and Flyboard NZ, which still operates now over in Wanaka. He then went on to work as a landscaper before eventually biting the bullet in 2019 and starting iRate.
So, how does one go from being a landscaper to running iRate Barbers? One day while working as a tradie, Tony realised he needed a haircut for an upcoming event, but his usual barber was busy. He then decided to look elsewhere for a barber and eventually found someone who did mobile cuts. However, due to popular demand the particular barber would not always be available, so Tony tried to find more barbers who did mobile cuts but there were none. Then the idea sprang to mind to essentially create an Uber Eats app, but for haircuts.
Tony Rose is someone who has taken control of his career and become a self-made entrepreneur, and he wants to help barbers to do the same. With iRate, barbers that already exist in the marketplace are able to maximise their earnings by choosing their own rates and receiving 90% of the total profit, with iRate receiving the remaining 10%. This is unlike most barbershops, where barbers will either work on commission or at an hourly rate, with the shop taking majority of the profits. What iRate provides is the ability for workers to get paid their worth and keep up with the steep costs of living. It is true that this could render barbershops obsolete in the future, however the world is changing, and so adapting to the times is essential.
iRate has already become a success in the short amount of time it has been live, but for Tony, it’s about making sure the focus is on the barbers and that they get paid before he does. Having a successful business doesn’t come with the riches you’d expect especially when the business is just taking off.
If you haven’t already, download the app, support your local and look out for this yellow van around town.
By Keenan Rogers