Pick of the bunch: B2LiNK acquisition of Picky crucial for ‘long-term sustainability’, says CEO

By Amanda Lim

- Last updated on GMT

B2LiNK’s acquisition of beauty application Picky is crucial for the firm’s long-term growth [Picky]
B2LiNK’s acquisition of beauty application Picky is crucial for the firm’s long-term growth [Picky]

Related tags beauty tech M&A K-Beauty

K-beauty brand aggregator B2LiNK’s acquisition of beauty application Picky is crucial for the firm’s long-term growth as it aims to become the “number one global digital skin care community”, says its CEO.

Picky is a beauty web and mobile application that enables consumers to discover the most suitable beauty brands and products for them through user reviews, educational content and expert contributions.

The US-incorporated company launched the app in April 2020 and has since built a community base of more than 250,000 global users.

B2B K-beauty distributor, B2LiNK, has acquired the firm for an undisclosed amount.

After the acquisition, Picky will operate independently while founder and CEO Lee Jihong will join B2LiNK as Chief Marketing Officer and board member.

Speaking to CosmeticsDesign-Asia​, Lee said the firm’s overarching goal is to become the top digital skin care community globally and this acquisition will give it financial stability.

“For Picky, it's more about financial stability and coming together as another potential beauty unicorn from Korea.Our business model requires constant capital investment and there is more uncertainty with pure financial investors. B2LiNK has been committed to the industry for the past seven years, and currently raising a much larger round with over U$100m valuation,” ​said Lee.

B2LiNK is a Seoul-based consumer brand aggregator and global Korean Beauty B2B distribution company.

It has partnered with over 150 Korean beauty brands and has over 80 online and offline distribution channels globally. It also has seven brands in its portfolio which have surpassed $30m in ARR in 2021.

“B2LiNK's current management team are highly experienced beauty industry veterans from Korea, which ensures Picky to reach its full potential as an enabler for K-beauty brands which is crucial for its long-term sustainability,” ​said Lee.

On the flip side, Picky’s data would give B2LiNK a finger on the pulse of the beauty market, allowing it to source for up-and-coming brands that are generating buzz among beauty consumers.

“B2Link's business model requires market intelligence – to spot the up-and-coming K-beauty brands and add them to the potential acquisition list of brands. Picky's unique data points of brands from users will create an unfair advantage over competitors that rely on just public information,” ​said Lee.

“K-beauty is a global phenomenon. There is a seemingly endless pool of unique indie brands relevant for global beauty consumers… With the Picky acquisition, we’ve strengthened our team and firmly established our number one market position in Korea,”​ said Nate Sohyung Lee, B2LiNK’s co-founder and CEO.

Moving forward, Picky is working on new features, such as embedding its reviews onto a brand’s own online store.

It has already integrated over 2,000 Picky reviews on the online store of Skin1004, the flagship beauty brand under B2LiNK’s portfolio.

Furthermore, Picky has recently introduced a video review feature on the app, which it will continue to refine and improve in the coming months.

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