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Tech-driven franchise development company, Oakscale, raises $1.2M in seed funding round 

We spoke with Oakscale CEO, Joshua Kovacs, to learn more about the company, the franchise landscape, and what lies ahead. 

Image: Oakscale

Today, franchise development company, Oakscale, announced a $1.2M seed funding round. The funding round was led by angel investors Brett Barna, Timothy Tully, Pen King Jr, and Robert Huntington with participation from Horsman Holdings and Liveris Family Office (of former Dow Chemical Chairman and CEO Andrew Liveris), as well as other technology and franchise industry investors. 

At Oakscale’s core is their ability to identify exceptional franchise concepts, position them for growth and match them with passionate entrepreneurs. Since launching in 2017, the company has caught the attention of industry veterans, experienced investors, and franchises across the globe. Most recently, they partnered with the Australian brand, Xpresso Delight, and served as their exclusive franchise development partner for all U.S. expansion

We spoke with Oakscale CEO, Joshua Kovacs, to learn more about the company, the franchise landscape, and what lies ahead. 

Q&A with Oakscale CEO, Joshua Kovacs 

Q: Could you tell us how Oakscale came to be?

I was working for a franchise development company that was very successful, but seemed to be content with the status quo in the industry. I don’t blame them as they had built something great, but I saw an industry where the buyer was evolving and the strategies to fulfill the buyer’s needs were not. I stumbled across Metric Collective. They are a tech holding company/incubator focused in Franchising and SMB.

They own FranFunnel a Saas texting platform based on Twilio that allows Franchisors to more effectively communicate with potential franchise candidates over text, and Franchise Help the largest website focused on connecting franchise candidates with brands that meet their criteria (think of it as a Trulia / Zillow of the franchise space). I reached out and discussed with the partners a way we could leverage their tech and data insights on the industry to change the way brands develop in the franchise space and from those conversations Oakscale was born. 

Q: What is the biggest problem franchisors face today? 

When most people think “franchise,” a fast-food restaurant or two pops into their mind. The fact of the matter is that quick-service restaurants only make up about 25% of all the franchises out there today. Many of the other 75% represent compelling opportunities for prospective entrepreneurs to leap into business ownership with a proven model.

These franchisors have to work 10x harder than the restaurants to attract franchisees because the general public doesn’t even know they exist. Franchisors in these 75% are typically ill-prepared to develop creative marketing and sales initiatives necessary to reach the right audience and effectively grow the brand.

Q: How do you plan to change the franchising landscape?

Modernize sales. Franchise sales is a very old and very sleepy profession. The tools and strategies out there today are antiquated. (They were antiquated 10 years ago honestly.) In one year we’ve already employed VR and automated messaging, which is only the tip of the iceberg. The new franchisee wants a tech-enabled buying process, and we’re going to give it to them.

Q: How does technology come into play with your business?

It’s the lifeblood. Yes, we have very accomplished franchise salespeople on our staff, but we’ve equipped them with all the best tools in the business to make sure that we stand out. 

  • We’ve deployed FranFunnel, the industry’s premier messaging app, to take the qualification process to people’s phones. 
  • Even though we’re a startup, our CRM is customized as if we were an Enterprise customer
  • VR is now a part of our collateral, as we send out virtual tours of our franchises to prospects.

The goal is to scale our sales team and process using tech, not people.

Q: What are your plans for the future of Oakscale?

The long term vision for Oakscale is to bridge the gap between digital marketing and franchise development and own that process from A to Z. We aim to be the main point of contact from lead generation and qualification through to signing franchise agreements with franchisors across the spectrum. Right now, our focus is to learn how to be the best using and acting on the data we collect and implement what we learn with as many brands as we can execute on. 

Franchisors and potential franchisees can connect with Oakscale via their website.

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