K-Beauty Brand Memebox Announces Series C Extension of $60M

Memebox
Memebox

Memebox (pronounced “me me”) raises $60M in a Series C extension round. Led by new and existing investors including Goodwater Capital, Altos Ventures, Cowboy Ventures, Mousse Partners, Formation Group, Funders Club, Pear Ventures, Cota Capital and Janet Gurwitch, the round is an extension of the $66M the company raised in its initial Series C. The round brings the company to $160M raised since it was founded in 2012.

The additional investment will allow Memebox to continue to invest in streamlining its mobile shopping experience, develop a database of beauty ingredients and products, and build out its global operations for efficiency as the company grows its global footprint.

“Memebox has been focused on bringing innovative, high quality and approachable beauty to consumers worldwide,” said CEO Hyungseok Dino Ha. “We are a global company with offices in six different countries with 14 different nationalities. We’ve been focused on growing our operations in Asia – particularly in China – but with this funding we plan to streamline our global operations at our company headquarters in San Francisco.”

“What Memebox is doing with mobile and video is unprecedented in the beauty landscape.  Memebox has the heart of a high-end brand, the brain of a deep data company, and the muscle memory of a social network. At its core, Memebox is dedicated to delighting this generation of customers who care deeply about beauty and skincare.  We are proud to be part of bringing this traditional industry into the 21st century,” said Eric J. Kim, Managing Partner at Goodwater Capital and Memebox board member.

Rooted in technology, Memebox sees beauty in data
Founded by CEO Hyungseok Dino Ha, Memebox has become synonymous with innovation in the beauty industry. A Y Combinator graduate, Memebox was founded with an eye towards beauty innovation, experience and discovery on a global scale.

Evolving from the company’s initial subscription box model in 2012, Memebox began retailing beauty products before quickly moving into developing its own in-house brands. Leveraging the data collected from customers, the company built its own research and development labs outside of Seoul, South Korea to test and develop the company’s four in-house brands – Bonvivant, Nooni, I’M Meme and Pony Effect. Since the brands launched, they have been growing 60% quarter-over-quarter.

“By combining what we’ve learned from our customer data with the technology available to us in our labs, we’re able to create high quality, effective and affordable products that our customers are looking for,” said Ha. “Our investment in our own facilities, combined with our startup ethos, has allowed us to quickly evolve to meet market demand for innovative and effective beauty worldwide.”

Memebox’s early investment in a content-driven mobile shopping experience has also paid off for the company. The company’s mobile app is highly-trafficked, representing over 88 percent of its global online transactions, with over 94 percent of customers in Asia shop through the app.

“From the beginning, mobile has been a cornerstone of our online-to-offline omni-channel strategy,” added Ha. “Our young customer base gravitates to content-driven brand experiences over basic e-commerce platforms translated to mobile. We plan to bring the same mobile content strategies that have been so successful in Asia to audiences in the US.”

Capping off a year of growth
Memebox also recently added Janet Gurwitch, partner at Castanea Partners and founder and former CEO of Laura Mercier, to the company’s advisory board. Gurwitch has specialized in beauty companies during her time at Castanea Partners, and served on the board of companies including Drybar, Urban Decay (prior to its sale) and First Aid Beauty. She has also served in an advisory role at Dollar Shave Club. She’ll primarily be focused on advising Memebox on brand strategy, positioning and developing new retail partnerships for the company’s four in-house brands in the US market.

Memebox USA also opened its first holiday pop-up shop in San Francisco’s Union Square and recently announced that its Bonvivant line of sheet masks would be available in-store and online at Opening Ceremony.

To discover all that Memebox has to offer, please visit www.memebox.com.

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