LEISURE & ENTERTAINMENT | Alpha Bierneza, Singapore

This hipster tech-beauty startup raised $5m in just six months

Its app connects you to over 500 beauty artists.

To bridge the gap between beauty artists and customers, Vanitee introduces a community marketplace for quality beauty services. From the folks behind VanityTrove, a beauty sample subscription service founded in 2012, Douglas Gan, Kuik Xiao Shi, Choy Peng Kong and Meters Ang created an online booking destination making it easy for women to discover services based on proximity and location, as well as by type of service.

According to Douglas, co-founder and CEO of Vanitee, the platform is their response when they found out from a lot of women they spoke to how difficult it was for them to find good quality beauty services in Singapore. At the same time, Vanitee also aims to uplift small, independent beauty businesses in Singapore, and elevate the standards of the beauty industry.

The team believes that there are so many young, talented beauty professionals out there who don’t have the resources or know-how to reach a wider audience. Through the platform, they aim to help the sought-after independent and emerging beauty professionals or artists.

“We support independent and emerging beauty artists, because it's so easy to see their authenticity and passion for uncompromised quality in their work. Our days are fuelled by the desire to give these beauty artists a voice and platform to grow their brand, showcase their work, built a unique online store, and run their dream business,” said Douglas.

As of December 2015, Vanitee has over 500 beauty artists on its app with more than 1,000 artists in the pipeline. These artists go through a rigorous 27-step verification process to ensure that they can fulfil 100% happiness guarantee that Vanitee promises their customers. These artists can start and run their business entirely from the mobile app. They can schedule and keep track of appointments, manage their client database, list their services and prices, and showcase their work – all on our app. While for users, they can quickly and easily look for beauty services and book them on the spot via the app – all in less than five minutes. They can pay via a credit or debit card and their card is only charged upon completion of service.

“We want the experience at Vanitee to be one of discovery, and we want it to be fun. Our fantasy is that overtime someone compliments you of your new look and you will feel compelled to share more about the amazing beauty artist behind it. We believe that a good quality beauty service can have a very real and tangible effect on our everyday lives. It's all about living beautifully both inside and out,” Douglas said.

In just six months, Vanitee have raised $5m in its first round of funding. The company’s latest round of $3m which was closed just last month was from serial entrepreneur Ivan Lee and Japan’s beauty portal @cosme. Cosme’s investments follow an earlier $2m injection by SEA’s beauty distributor, Luxasia, and angel investor, Robert Yap, who runs Asia’s leading logistics company, YCH.

With this total funding at hand, Vanitee is expanding into Malaysia in the first quarter of 2016 which according to Douglas will help them cement their position in as a leading beauty service booking app in the region. Douglas adds that 2016 will also see the team deepening the product, where they will be introducing new features that will create the best experience for their artists and consumers.

For startups wanting to be featured, send your message to Lee Anne Babierra at research@charltonmediamail.com

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This hipster tech-beauty startup raised $5m in just six months

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