(This article has been updated with the name of the investor)
OsakaKuma, a Singapore-based online beauty store that sells Japanese cosmetics, has announced that it has secured US$6 million from local investment company SEEINFRONT Capital in a pre-Series A round of financing from undisclosed investors.
This round brings the startup’s total funds raised to date to US$8 million and follows a US$2 million funding from undisclosed investors in 2020.
With its first store launched in Bugis+ in Singapore in September 2020, OsakaKuma has since opened three more outlets in Paya Lebar Quarter, Wisma Atria and Vivo City. Wisma Atria, the brand’s flagship store was opened in June 2021.
With the fresh funds, the company is set to open three new outlets across Singapore by July-end and has plans to open more outlets in the years to come. This is part of an effort to cater to more customers around the neighbourhood and to create more touchpoints for consumers.
Japan is known for being one of the dormant beasts of the beauty products industry, which has now awakened. Some even predict J-Beauty to be the next industry phenomenon in the US and worldwide.
OsakaKuma was founded in 2020 by Tony Wang with the goal of making it Singapore’s first beauty and personal care store that would offer a data-driven product selection of exclusive Japanese brands.
The company uses data from over 100,000 surveyed customers from 15 online stores worldwide to target consumer needs and demands so that solutions can be offered in a more precise way.
By doing this, Wang believes that OsakaKuma can help people tackle their personal beauty issues in a much more effective and cost-efficient way.
“While we see the trend has grown for e-commerce, we believe that many would still prefer to enjoy the physical shopping experience, having our in-store beauty curators to guide and help them,” he said.
Launched as an online-first store, the company now has four physical stores across the city-state. OsakaKuma has also spread its footprint in six countries, opened 15 online stores, and made over 1,000 Japanese single-brand products available to the rest of the world.
Globally, the beauty industry is only getting stronger. Since the onset of the pandemic, there has been a growth in the skincare and personal care category as well as a growing demand for overseas beauty products since travel restrictions have made it hard for people to travel.
Image Credit: Osakakuma
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