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Life-Giving Massage, At the Tap of a Button

Startup Health

Life-Giving Massage, At the Tap of a Button

Named one of the “Best Entrepreneurial Companies in America” by Entrepreneur and one of the fastestgrowing companies in the country by Inc., Zeel is the first, leading and largest on-demand massage provider with over 11,000 licensed massage therapists delivering massages across the country. Leadership Profile CEO Samer Hamadeh received an MS and BS from Stanford University and describes himself as a lifelong entrepreneur. Starting with a candy reselling company in middle school, he has worked with more than a dozen startups as an advisor, investor and board member. He is a co-founder and former CEO of Vault.com, the career information company. From Spa to Health Clinic According to Hamadeh, “Zeel’s rise parallels the more general acceptance of massage therapy as part of complementary and integrative medicine. Today, massage is offered along with standard treatment for a wide range of medical conditions and situations. You’ll see massage therapy offered in businesses, clinics, hospitals, hotels and even airports.” He’s right. The American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) reports that “from 2012 to 2017, revenue from alternative or complementary healthcare providers, which includes massage therapists, increased four percent, and employment increased 3.3 percent. Revenue growth is projected to continue at an average rate of four percent per year through 2022. Between July 2016 and July 2017, AMTA surveys indicate that roughly 47-60 million adult Americans (19-24%) had a massage at least once. The atmamassage.org website lists links in 11 health categories where massage therapy is considered as a viable integrated treatment. These include arthritis, cardiovascular health, pain management, exercise performance and recovery, fibromyalgia, headaches/migraines, low back pain, senior therapy, mental health, stress and wellness. Market Differentiator One element that sets Zeel apart is the added layer of business/customer experience thinking Hamadeh and his team of entrepreneurs bring that create best-in-class security protocols. They recruit top massage therapists and go the extra mile by requiring all client customers to verify their identity through Zeel tech partners. The protocols give the massage industry a level of transparency and acceptance it never really had before, along with an “Uberlike” social component that allows for community self-regulation. That transparency helps users know that their in-home massage experience will be wholesome and healing. Satisfaction levels on both sides of the massage transaction remain high, giving Zeel confidence to expand its model to more than 90 cities across the US. An Expanding Offering Zeel offers on-demand, at-home massages in as little as an hour, 365 days a year, with start times as early as 8 am and as late as 10:30 pm. Zeel is also home to Zeel Spa, the on-demand staffing solution for spas; Zeel Concierge, which enables hotels to provide in-room massage bookings for guests; and Zeel@Work, which brings chair massages to companies, events and workplaces. Hamadeh says “People recognize the Zeel brand as the most trusted name in massage. A Zeel membership is part of their wellness routine, the same as a gym membership. It’s our mission to make the health, wellness and stress-relief benefits of massage attainable, easy and convenient.” Options on the Table Customers choose from Swedish, deep tissue, sports, prenatal, couples massage and a custom sleep massage specially-designed to treat insomnia and sleep insufficiency. Massages are booked on the Zeel app for iPhone or Android and on zeel.com. Zeel Gives Back is a monthly donation initiative to help non-profit organizations. Each month, Zeel sponsors chair massages for the staff of service programs helping people in need. “At Zeel, bringing wellness relief to people in need is essential to our core mission,” says Zeel founder and CEO Samer Hamadeh (pictured). “We want to help the helpers.”