Launched back in September 2011, Luxola.com is a Singapore-based online cosmetics and skincare store. Many international brands have also debuted in the Singapore market and some of the brands featured on the platform includes BECCA Cosmetics, Benta Berry, BY Terry, Dr. Jart, DUO, DuWop, Estelle & Thild, Nuxe, Original Mineral, Phyto, PURE by Phytocare Sara Happ, SK II, Sleek Makeup, Strivectin, This Works and many others.
Prior to the Series A funding, Luxola recently raised funding of S$740,000 (around US$597,000) from a group of investors managed by WaveMaker Labs in collaboration with Singapore National Research Foundation (NRF). The funding round was announced in August 2012. Since then, the company has been expanding to Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and The Philippines. To support the growth, GREE Ventures invested an undisclosed sum into the company. While undisclosed, GREE Ventures told us that this is their largest investment in a Southeast Asia company to day. GREE Ventures also shared with us that the funding falls under the US$25 million dollar GREE Ventures Asia fund.
In addition to announcing its Series A investment, Luxola has also announced the hiring of two senior executives: Chief Marketing and Product Ofﬁcer Christine Ng and GM of Indonesia Adrien Barthel. Ms. Ng joins Luxola after 13 years of experience in Silicon Valley where she has held senior product and marketing positions at eBay, Sephora and Pop Sugar. Mr. Barthel joins Luxola having spent the last 3 years rolling out the e-commerce platform for Carrefour Indonesia.
GREE Ventures invests in companies with a regional outlook
GREE Ventures, the venture capital arm of GREE, makes series A investments in start-up companies that have the potential to play an active regional role in East Asia and Southeast Asia. This was shared by Kuan Hsu, a Principal with GREE Ventures during our interview with him last year. Kuan echoed that startups in Singapore needs to think pan-Asia and regionally. In our previous interview with Kuan, he puts things into perspective, “Even if you are successful in Singapore, is that enough in terms of dollars and cents? How do you expand outside of Singapore and how do you localize for those markets? Is your team able to do that successfully?” A good team in Singapore should be able to figure out how to adapt and apply their product or service in other Southeast Asian countries, even with the lack of the full suite of infrastructure and ecocsytem that they now enjoy in Singapore. Luxola seems to be able to do that well.
Other than Luxola, Online beauty subscription service bellabox recently also secured a US$ 1.36 million Series A round led by Lance Kalish earlier this year.