‘Ready to adopt’: AI skin analysis firm Haut.AI aiming to tap into ‘tech savvy’ Asian market
Haut.AI was established in 2018. It started out developing software for laboratories and recently shifted towards consumer-facing technology in 2020.
“Even before the pandemic, it was obvious that omnichannel was the future,” said Anastasia Georgievskaya, co-founder and CEO of Haut.AI.
Speaking to CosmeticsDesign-Asia, Georgievskaya said the company observed more beauty brands trying to bridge the gap between offline and online by including new tools like chatbots to mimic the engagement consumers would experience in a brick and mortar.
However, she noted that beauty consultants could not rely on consumers to give accurate descriptions of their skin as they were most likely to be too critical.
“When it comes to recommending products, you need some actually analysis. It’s very interesting because people can be very critical about their skin. They will think their skin is super bad, but an expert would look at it and say, it’s completely fine.”
Fast forward to now and the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the demand for AI-powered skin analysis tools. Most recently, Haut.AI inked a deal with US-based beauty retailer Ulta Beauty to co-create digital skin care tools.
Expanding to Asia
This year, the company is focused on expanding its presence in Asia, which it believes has the quickest path to growth.
“It’s no secret that the Asian market is a massive market, but that’s not the only reason. One of our motivations is that the market is very tech-savvy. The population is very ready to adapt and adopt new technologies. It’s pretty much mobile-focused, which is where our technology works best,” said Georgievskaya.
The company already has a few clients in China, where it is hoping to expand. In addition, it is particularly interested in developing its business in South Korea and Indonesia.
“People in these markets are very engaged when it comes to skin care and the use of advanced smartphones with good cameras are widespread,” said Georgievskaya.
The firm’s technology can be integrated with commonly used platforms in Asia including, Line, Kakao Talk and WeChat.
“Our goal for this year is to secure more partnerships. Not just more clients but different type of clients. We’re interested in working with retailers and clinics. We’ve done the same in Europe and the US, so we want to see how it will be in Asia, because we know it’s a different market that needs special treatment and special approaches,” said Georgievskaya.
Acquiring new partners
In addition to commercial partnerships, the company is open to R&D partnerships that can help advance its technology, which can help the company achieve its goal of extending its technology beyond skin analysis.
“Our bigger goal for this year and onwards is to expand our portfolio from face to other [parts of the body]. We have algorithms to analyse not just the face but body, hands, feet, arms, and hair. So you could just take your phone scan your whole body and get recommendations that can make you a better version of yourself,” said Georgievskaya.
Today, the company announced that it has become a resident of Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JLABS @ Shanghai (LABS). Georgievskaya said this partnership would be able to help the firm advance the plans for its technology.
“JLabs has access to a lot of experts in the field. They have a department that works on translational science to the end consumer, which is very important for us at the moment since we will expand the technology from face to other body parts in the future.”