South Korean beauty and tech startup Toun28 co-founder and CEO Jung Maria said she plans to expand the company’s unique customized monthly cosmetics subscription service next year.
“We aim to reach an average of over 5,000 subscribers per month next year. Currently, the number of our subscribers ranges from 3,000 to 5,000. We expect to see profit once we reach 5,000 subscribers,” Jung said during an interview with The Investor on the sidelines of a beauty festival at Busan’s Bexco, timed to coincide with the ASEAN-ROK Commemorative Summit.
Toun28 was founded in 2017 by Jung, who previously worked at cosmetics material research institute Bio Spectrum; and Park Jun-su, who had worked in LG Electronics’ data division. The startup collects detailed information about customers’ facial conditions as well as climate and environmental data. For 50,000 won ($42.50) per month, the company then manufactures customized organic products based on this data and sends them out on the 28th of every month.
The company received an investment of around 500 million won from the Korean beauty giant Amorepacific in 2017 and recently secured an additional 4 billion won. “We are the first startup brand that Amorepacific decided to fund,” Jung said.
“We understand that some young people do not prefer getting their skin checkups in person. So, we will soon provide a semi-customized subscription service, which is provided without meeting our customers, once we accumulate enough data. Once that service is out, we will aggressively stretch our business,” Jung said.
The company added that it has a ready-made organic cosmetics line for those who want to purchase products without getting their skin checked.
She also said Toun28 is planning to enter the European market. “We already supplied a small amount of our non-customized products to France. We are currently looking into markets like Poland, France and Norway,” she added.
Toun28 co-founder Jung Maria(left) and official Won Ah-ran
Regarding concerns about the limited growth potential of cosmetics subscription services, as illustrated by the case of local cosmetics startup Memebox, Jung said Toun28’s service is different. Memebox started off in 2012 with a subscription-based beauty product delivery service but changed its model four years later.
“I also discuss this problem with Memebox co-CEO Ha Hyung-seok,” she said. “Meme’s subscription service had limitations because it was not customized and customers received random items. When not all the products fit the customer’s skin condition, the retention rate cannot be high.”
By Song Seung-hyun (firstname.lastname@example.org)