The start-up company says it has secured an undisclosed A round line of investment from Gree Ventures, a Japan-based venture capitalist business that specializes in the retail and consumer markets Asian-wide.
The investment will enable to launch the online sales of luxury cosmetics in the Southeast Asian markets of Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Philippines – four markets that are all enjoying strong economic and retail growth.
Luxola CEO Alexis Horowitz-Burdick, who started the business in September 2011, says that the investment will help it to increase its presence in these four markets, while also help it to invest in resources for customer service and branding.
Key appointments to support the expansion
The company has also revealed that it has made two executive appointments, namely Christine Ng, formerly of Sephora, who will become chief marketing and product officer, together with Adrien Barthel, who has been appointed as the head of the company’s Indonesian operations.
Back in February, the company said that it was targeting expansion into Southeast Asia, by continuing its focus on masstige and luxury international brands, claiming to be the first major online cosmetics retailer to target this region.
At the time it also announced that it had added US skin care brand SK-11, as well as Maybelline, to its portfolio of available brands – also making it the first online retailer in the region to market the brands.
All eyes on China for online growth
Although America remains the largest e-commerce market for the cosmetics industry, many of the big international players are targeting the Asia Pacific region with the hope of tapping into significant opportunity for growth in online sales.
In particular the China market is generating a lot of interest. Last year Estée Lauder CEO Fabrizio Freda said that he expected that in the next 3 years, it will be China that is likely to take this title from the US in view of the exponential growth of online users in the country.
Likewise, Estée Lauder has built 340 marketing and e-commerce sites with strong links to social media platforms, in more than 50 countries worldwide with products also sold through a number of retailer sites.