Beauty startup Favful raises US$100K+ pre-seed funding
By Lum Ka Kay February 19, 2016
- Funds to be used for team expansion, further product development
- Malaysian startup plans to expand to two new Asean markets this year
KUALA Lumpur-based beauty startup Favful has raised pre-seed funding of “over US$100,000” from Singaporean venture capital firm Segnel Venture and Silicon Valley-based 500 Startups.
Favful, for ‘favourite and faithful,’ describes itself as a virtual beauty advisory platform that allows users to review, rate and compare prices of skincare and makeup products from various merchants.
Its mobile app, currently only available on the Android platform, combines the above with an additional feature where users can scan barcodes to get information on a particular skincare or makeup product.
Favful said it will launch an app for the iOS platform in the coming months.
Founder and chief executive officer Sasha Tan (pic above), the former vice president of products at Jakarta-headquartered online grocer HappyFresh, said the pre-seed funding will be used to expand the team and further develop the product.
At Favful’s official launch in Petaling Jaya on Feb 18, she declared that Favful is a one-stop beauty platform – the first of its kind in South-East Asia, she claimed – designed to empower women by helping them make informed beauty purchases without the clutter of exaggerated advertising.
“Women waste an average of 5,846 beauty products in their lifetime, where the majority use only 10% of the beauty products they buy due to insufficient information that doesn’t cater to the individual’s condition.
“Clearly, there is still a gap in the beauty industry regarding the delivery of product information, and we intend to pair up beauty needs with the convenience of accessible technology to help consumers make the right choices,” she said.
High engagement rate
Founded in November 2015, Favful has a “pretty high engagement rate,” recording 6,000 product searches from users on a weekly basis, Tan claimed.
“That kind of validated our idea that there are many people out there who want to get more information on skincare and makeup products.
“Favful covers approximately 20,000 skincare and makeup products across 1,900 brands,” she added.
According to Tan, the startup recorded a monthly growth rate of 40% in terms of pageviews and users, and she is targeting to increase the monthly growth rate to 60% by the end of this year. To date, Favful has about 200 user reviews on its website.
She said that she hopes to expand Favful’s services to two more markets within South-East Asia in 2016.
Having been with HappyFresh and US-based crowdfunding startup Booster.com taught Tan many things, including how to run a tech startup, she told the media.
“All the international exposure with HappyFresh has given me a leg-up on team management and product development.
“I learned a tremendous amount from them, and I felt that I should utilise my learnings by providing a solution that many women, including myself, face,” she said, adding that she spent huge sums of money trying out many skincare products just to find the right one.
Among the challenges Tan faced in building Favful was encouraging women to share their own user experiences.
“In general, Asian women are more reserved when it comes to sharing information about themselves.
“The main goal of Favful is to help women gain confidence by assisting them in getting the right product for themselves.
“It’s not only about sharing product information, it’s also about having a community where everyone can provide value for each other,” she added.
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