When raising money, there are two schools of thought: raise money when you need it or raise money when you can. Striking while the iron is hot and capitalizing on investor interest, the Memebox Series C round raised another $60 million in funding. The South Korean company raised $65.95 million in August of 2016. Last Friday the company announced it
WHO: Memebox was launched by CEO Dino Ha in 2012 as a beauty box focused on K-beauty. It pivoted to a direct-to-consumer e-commerce model when the curated box model began to lose steam. Memebox is one of the world’s fastest-growing online beauty startups with a reach from South Korea to China and the US markets. Memebox says it now has offices in six countries and employees from 14 nations. The company sells more than 1,200 Korean brands and recently launched four in-house product lines.
WHY: The August investment was earmarked to open more brick-and-mortar stores and expand into other markets. The company said the new Memebox Series C funds will go toward streamlining the company’s global operations, focusing on its mobile platform and developing a database of beauty ingredients and products.
IN THEIR OWN WORDS: “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.
- This latest round of $60 million in the Memebox Series C funding was led by new and existing investors Goodwater Capital, Altos Ventures, Cowboy Ventures, Mousse Partners, Formation Group, Funders Club, Pear Ventures, Cota Capital and Janet Gurwitch.
- The company has added Castanea partner and Laura Mercier founder and former CEO Janet Gurwitch to its advisory board.
- Arnold Hur, president of Memebox US, told TechCrunch that the company’s total GMV—the volume of transactions on its platform—is at a $150 million annual run rate, with 280 percent annual growth.
- Hur said Memebox’s China business increased 1,200 percent year-on-year, while it grew 490 percent annually in the US.
- The company raised $66 million in funding in August 2016, led by previous investors Formation 8, Goodwater Capital, and Pejman Mar Ventures. Memebox would not disclose the valuation at which the funding was raised, only to say it was at an up round.
- The deal takes Memebox, one of Y Combinator’s top companies in 2014, to $120 million from investors to date.
- In March of 2015, the company raised $29 million from investors at what was reported to be a $100 million valuation. Last year’s investors included Yahoo co-founder Jerry Yang, Y Combinator, FundersClub, Cowboy Ventures, Altos Ventures, and Winklevoss Capital, in addition to the firms involved in the latest, Series C round.
Read the full press release on PR Newswire.