SAN FRANCISCO — Memebox, a fast-growing Korean beauty brand based in San Francisco, has closed $65.95 million in Series C funding led by new global investor Formation Group and previous investors Goodwater Capital and Pejman Mar Ventures. The latest round brings the company’s total funding to nearly $100 million — among the highest of any beauty startup.
Funding comes as Memebox achieves record growth fueled by the launch of its own branded products. Memebox will use its latest funds to continue its aggressive expansion into new markets, fuel innovative product development, and link its digital platform to additional offline retail experiences.
“Memebox has redefined how beauty companies operate in order to respond to the needs of today’s mobile and product-conscious consumers,” said Brian Koo, founder and CEO of Formation Group. “It represents the future of the digitally powered consumer brand revolution. Businesses like Dollar Shave Club, Warby Parker, and Memebox all benefit from the ability to use data and technology that offline incumbents cannot. The result is that women all over the world have fallen for and continue to fall in love with products from Memebox.”
Origins of Growth
The Y Combinator graduate started by introducing Korean beauty products to new demographics through its online platform, which now sells over 170,000 of Korea’s most popular products to women primarily in the U.S. and across Asia. Memebox’s sales in China have grown by 1200% year-over-year, while U.S. sales represent 490% year-over-year growth. As Memebox’s sales have flourished, the company has proven that there are no boundaries for its products, as it now sells to more Spanish-speaking customers than Chinese, Korean, and Japanese combined, with emerging U.S. hotbeds in New York, Houston, Chicago, Los Angeles, and San Antonio.
And by prioritizing mobile from the start, 83% of Memebox’s online sales come from its mobile platform. Since launching, the Memebox app has been downloaded more than 4 million times.
Additionally, more than 50% of Memebox’s traffic comes from tens of millions of 18-24-year-olds. The company has effectively reached this much sought after audience by heavily investing in digital initiatives and developing engaging content. For example, Memebox has received more than 70 million Facebook video views so far this year– more than L’Oreal, Benefit Cosmetics and H&M have combined in Asia and the U.S. — and it retains twice the industry average of people who watch videos to completion. Memebox has more than 4 million followers globally, as well as over 2 million followers on Weibo, not to mention its massive and devoted YouTube following.
The company has offices in San Francisco, Shanghai, Seoul, Taipei, Hong Kong and Singapore.