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K-Beauty Brand Aggregator B2LiNK to Acquire Picky Inc.

January 05, 2022 BeautyMatter
January 05, 2022
Picky Inc.

B2LiNK Corporation, a leading global purveyor of Korean beauty brands, will acquire Picky Inc., the digital skincare community app embraced by K-beauty enthusiasts worldwide. Both companies have entered into a formal agreement with an anticipated close by the end of January 2022.

WHO: Launched in April 2020, Picky was born out of K-beauty's international appeal. Founder Jihong Lee leveraged his Korean and Silicon Valley experience to tackle the confusion caused by the proliferation of information in the global consumer beauty product space—too many brands, too many products, too much generic marketing. Picky is a mobile-first community that enables consumers to discover the best skincare and beauty brands and products that are right for them through extensive user reviews, educational content, and experts' contributions. Focusing on authenticity, education, and personalization, its community creates and consumes content about skincare and beauty, including K-beauty. Picky's product is cross-platform: iOS, Android, and web.

B2LiNK is an innovative consumer brand aggregator and global Korean beauty B2B distribution company providing experience-based sales and marketing consultation. The company finds undervalued local brands with proven product/market fit, and grooms them into global brands scaling into international markets. Founded in 2014, B2LiNK partners with more than 150 Korean cosmetics brands and 80+ online and offline distribution channels worldwide. B2Link has successfully grown their portfolio into seven brands and has surpassed $30MM ARR in 2021. Its brand business is growing at a rate of 3x each year, and 90% of revenue came from outside the domestic market, with major success in the Southeast Asia region.

WHY: This acquisition will enable B2LiNK to bolster its leadership position and global portfolio of beauty brands, and will help Picky leverage B2LiNK's network and resources to expand its community base and global reach further.

IN THEIR OWN WORDS: "K-beauty is a global phenomenon. There is a seemingly endless pool of unique indie brands relevant for global beauty consumers, and we have access to established distribution channels to meet the demand for K-Beauty products everywhere," said Nate Sohyung Lee, B2LiNK's co-founder and CEO. "We're helping K-Beauty products become much more accessible in more markets through our deep experience in the retail business and world-class global marketing team. With the Picky acquisition, we've strengthened our team and firmly established our No. 1 market position in Korea."

“In what has been a challenging time for startups worldwide, we're proud to have gained an avid following of hundreds of thousands of regular users in our skincare community," said Jihong Lee. "Our team set our sights on the global marketplace on day one, and the opportunity to keep that momentum going with the resources behind B2LiNK is the perfect match.”

Through this acquisition, Picky aims to build on its strong community base of more than 250,000 global users and growth throughout 2021. Its web and mobile app-based community has established itself as a top "everyday" app for skincare enthusiasts worldwide, including those passionate about K-beauty products. B2LiNK sees the synergy with Picky's offerings as one that helps source up-and-coming brands looking to generate interest with skincare enthusiasts in the space, leveraging Picky's proprietary data powered by its community.

DETAILS:

  • B2LiNK to acquire Picky Inc.
  • As part of the acquisition, Picky founder and CEO Jihong Lee will join B2LiNK as Chief Marketing Officer and board member.
  • In January 2021, Picky closed a $1.3 million pre-seed funding round led by NLVC, the China- and Asia-focused venture capital partnership specializing in early-stage investments. Joining NLVC in the round were Wishcompany and Klim Ventures along with angel investors from the e-commerce, beauty, and online gaming sectors.
  • B2LiNK has raised $23MM since its 2014 founding.
  • Its brand business has grown more than 300% over the past two years, with 90% of their revenue coming from outside South Korea, with flagship brand Skin1004 expected to have sales of $25MM revenue and $4MM profit for 2021.
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