Sociolla raises US$12mil in funding
By Digital News Asia May 22, 2018
- Funds will be used for marketing and product development
- The startup is working on SOCO, its newest platform
INDONESIA-based Sociolla, beauty e-commerce and social platform, announced that it is closing a major funding round of US$12 million. The round is led by EV Growth, a new fund established on the initiative of East Ventures, Sinar Mas Digital Ventures and YJ Capital (Corporate Venture Capital arm of Yahoo! Japan). Also participating in the round were istyle Inc and a major institutional investor from Singapore.
Part of these funds will be used for marketing beauty products under the brands distributed by Sociolla.
“EV has been supporting Sociolla since 2015 through seed funding and we see the ability and readiness of Sociolla to win in the beauty tech category in Indonesia. Through this additional funding, we want to strengthen Sociolla's position as the leading beauty tech company in Indonesia supported by its strategic partnership with global player, istyle,” said EV Growth partner Willson Cuaca.
Following a Series A funding round led by Venturra Capital in November 2015 and Series B in January 2017 in partnership with istyle Inc, Japan's largest beauty platform owner and operator, Sociolla has grown and worked closely with istyle.
The collaboration with istyle gives the startup access to 14 million reviews for beauty products from www.cosme.net and the largest beauty website from the US, www.makeupalley.com, which was acquired by istyle last year.
After three years, Sociolla realised that e-commerce fulfils only part of women's beauty needs. Sociolla then took the next step by adding online experiences through its Beauty Journal, with beauty and lifestyle content ranging from articles and videos to glossaries and product reviews.
”From the view point of market opportunity, we believe that the beauty sector is very promising. Beauty tech is proven by istyle in Japan and support from istyle will be fruitful for the future of Sociolla. We’re excited to cooperate with leading beauty tech company, Sociolla, in this region and we’d like to provide a lot of consumer tech learnings from Japan to grow together,” explained EV Growth partner Shinichiro Hori.
Cumulatively, in 2017, more than 12 million unique users visited Sociolla’s website, or about one in every nine women in its target market in Indonesia.
The company said that the new funds will also be used to develop their technology team for its newest platform, SOCO. Focusing on the user experience, the platform will integrate Sociolla and Beauty Journal to meet women's needs with a more optimal, relevant and personalised experience.
“SOCO is short for Sociolla Connect and is a social platform that complements Sociolla's mission to help shape the future of the beauty industry through technology. We believe that the presence of SOCO will complete the two beauty platforms that already exist by connecting the three focusing pillars of Sociolla which are Content, Commerce, and Community and creating a sustainable and integrated beauty ecosystem in this digital era.
“By signing up and completing the beauty profile at SOCO, users will get product recommendations and content that are relevant to their beauty profile and interests. Users who already have an account at SOCO, can also contribute as content creators and interact or share with fellow beauty lovers on SOCO,” said Sociolla co-founder Chrisanti Indiana.
Sociolla will work with beauty brands that are popular overseas and keen to enter the Indonesian market. Currently, on top of more than 150 brands available on Sociolla’s website, seven leading beauty brands from Asia and Australia have directly signed a distribution agreement with Sociolla.