Memebox uses digital opportunities to launch makeup and skincare brands

By Natasha Spencer

- Last updated on GMT

Memebox uses digital opportunities to launch makeup and skincare brands

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After raising $65.95 mn, Memebox will expand and create new makeup and skincare brands at its high street stores in Asia and new online store.

Beauty retailer Memebox will expand its product lines and launch new makeup and skincare brands, following its latest round of funding which raised $65.95m (€59m).

Led by new global investor Formation Group and previous investors Goodwater Capital and Pejman Mar Ventures, the Section C results bring the beauty brand’s funding total to almost $100m (€89m).

Created and based in San Francisco, Memebox, has expanded into Asia amassing a large fan base particularly in China and Korea. With 280% year-over-year growth, Memebox has hit a yearly run rate of $150m (€133m).

The beauty brand sells a wide selection of products in both its brick-and-mortar stores in Asia and through its newly opened online store, which can direct users to its Korea, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore and US sites.

Digital Retail Experience

The online start-up collaborates the digital revolution with growing make-up and skincare trends in Asia to offer its online consumers a unique collection of beauty lines.

"Memebox has redefined how beauty companies operate in order to respond to the needs of today's mobile and product-conscious consumers,"​ said Brian Koo, founder and CEO of Formation Group, in a press release.

“Businesses like Dollar Shave Club, Warby Parker, and Memebox all benefit from the ability to use data and technology that offline incumbents cannot.”

Merging Online and Offline

In addition to its new market expansion and product development, this latest round of funding will be used to focus on the ever-popular O2O trend in Asia, which seeks to bridge the gap between the digital retail experience and offline shopping.

Understanding the ongoing importance of the offline retail touch-and-feel experience, Memebox recently opened its first stand-alone shop in Korea, which has consistently reached over $1,095 in sales per square foot.

"We approach our stores as an extension of our online environment, which is why we created spaces with makeup booths and unique seating areas where they can have conversations with our beauty experts,” ​said Hinges Dino Ha, co-founder and CEO of Memebox.

This integration of online and offline consumer experience has appealed to Memebox’s consumers and helped it to secure impressive mobile sales.

Memebox’s mobile platform accounts for 83% of its online sales. Since its launch, the Memebox app has been downloaded over 4 million times, helping the brand reach over 3.3m users.

The leading e-commerce platform now sells over 170,000 of Korea's most popular products to women in both the US and Asia. It has witnessed significant growth in one of its key target markets, China, with sales growing by 1200% year-over-year.

Social Media Influence

As more than 50% of Memebox's traffic comes from the 18-24-year-old demographic, the retailer has maximised the power of digital through optimising its social media presence and celebrity endorsements.

In 2016 alone, Memebox has received more than 70 million Facebook video views and retains double the average number of people who watch beauty and cosmetic industry videos from start to finish.

Memebox has more than 4 million followers globally, and over 2 million followers on China’s microblogging site, Weibo.

Product Launches

By combining data with technology, Memebox is able to take a product through to launch in just a few months, rather than the typical product development cycle of between 18-24 months. This has helped the retailer to secure increased sales of 60% per quarter.

Within the last year, Memebox has launched four branded product lines. One of these brands, "Pony Effect”, saw its first eyeshadow with Memebox sell 20,000 units in the first 45 minutes of availability. Memebox is also planning to launch two new brands by the end of the year.

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