Booking appointments is one of life’s pesky hassles. Your favorite restaurant never seems to pick up the phone and doesn’t use OpenTable, your massage therapist prefers calls but your hair stylist prefers texts, your yoga studio uses its own online scheduler. By the time you finally get through to someone, the appointment time you want isn’t even available.
Start-up MyTime, which officially launched Thursday in Los Angeles only, is eliminating those various channels by consolidating appointments onto one site. Half a million available appointments for several thousand small businesses -- including nail salons, auto shops, dentists, doctors, pet groomers, spas and pilates studios -- are already on MyTime.
“As far as I know, there hasn’t been an Amazon-style superstore where you can conveniently see all the appointments you need,” founder and Chief Executive Ethan Anderson said.
MyTime integrates into scheduling systems that small businesses use, such as Google Calendar, Microsoft Outlook, Apple iCal, Mind Body and BookFresh.
Users can search for and book appointment times as well as pay for their services directly on the site. There’s also a deals aspect: Services with available appointments during off-peak times can be purchased for a discount.
Anderson -- who also co-founded Redbeacon, which was acquired by Home Depot last year -- said every business on MyTime has been vetted and has received high ratings from independent services such as Yelp and CitySearch. He said the company would offer a full refund if a user was unhappy with any aspect of a service purchased on MyTime.
Businesses can join MyTime and list their appointments for free. When an appointment is booked and a service is paid for, the start-up passes along the full amount to the business.
The exception is when a company chooses to promote its appointment times; when that happens, MyTime will advertise that company through channels such as Facebook and Google. If a promoted appointment time is booked, MyTime takes a 40% cut of the cost of the service.
The site is free for users to join and use. No mobile app is available yet, although Anderson said the company would like to develop one in the future.
MyTime announced a $3-million seed round led by Mark Suster of GRP Partners. Other investors include Dave McClure of 500 Startups and Brian Lee of ShoeDazzle and the Honest Co.
The company is based in San Francisco and has 15 employees.