Memebox is Korea’s No. 1 beauty subscription commerce service that provides its customers with 5-6 beauty items every month for a nominal monthly fee of $15. Memebox aims to deliver the most exciting beauty experience to consumers in a one-stop service for beauty shopping. Now they are looking to expand their sights beyond the borders of their home country and establish themselves globally, starting first by entering the SE Asian market.
Memebox recently accompanied beSUCCESS to Singapore as one of ten Korean startups that won the chance through the ‘K-APP Global Hub Program’ to go to Singapore for an intensive week of seminars, business matching and networking. When questioned about their hopes for the trip to Singapore, CEO Dino Ha, of Memebox said; “Of course, we wanted to speak with investors and potential partners in the region, but our main goal was to gain a sense of the market conditions in SE Asia and also gague the demands and disposition of customers in the countries that Memebox is targeting. Through the trip to Singapore and the subsequent KAPP lectures, we were able to enhance our understanding of the SE Asian market environment and the potential for our service. We also had valuable meetings with potential local partners who offered synergy, in terms of our vision for expansion to the region.”
Korean Beauty Industry Seeing Massive domestic and Global growth
The Korean beauty product industry is alive and kicking, and is enjoying a time of unprecedented growth. Cosmetics exports stood at US$1.07 billion last year. This coupled with the world’s obsession for plastic surgery and some of the fastest-evolving beauty technology, spas and cosmetic lines in the world, Korea has become a bona fide beauty destination, with both product exports and ‘cosmetic-surgery tourism’ enjoying rapid growth. In fact, according to a recent government survey, the items tourists most want to purchase while visiting are Korean beauty products. Memebox is looking to cash in on this by delivering Korean beauty products to the doorsteps of its global customers, in a similar way that it does for its domestic customers.
More about Memebox
After using the 1-month product samples from the Memebox, consumers have the option of buying the full sized product in the Memeshop at a discounted price. Currently Memebox has more than 100,000 users and is past the preparation stage and is now ready to execute their global expansion strategy. After Japan, their next target market is Thailand, and later the rest of SE Asia. Although SE Asian mobile and e-commerce markets are not yet fully developed, first mover advantage is something that will hand Memebox a head start on its competitors when the market begins to hit explosive growth rates.
It looks like Memebox have a bright future when you consider the appetite for Korean cosmetics, both domestically and globally, and they clearly got things right from the outset, achieving break-even point in their third month of business. Since then their revenue has risen to $2M having opened for business in 2012 and they continue to see sustained and rapid grow month on month. Their position is also bolstered by a long-term partnership agreement with powerful local partners, such as CJ E&M, a major media channel in Korea. This combined with their existing partnership agreements with over 300 beauty suppliers and manufacturers in Korea makes their expansion plans seem very realistic, as long as logistical issues can be resolved effectively. Don’t be surprised if you soon start seeing boxes with Korean cosmetics getting delivered in your neighborhood.
More about this article series
The KAPP article series will cover each of the 20 startups that took part in the KAPP Global Hub Program, which took Korean startups to two global startup hubs, and is followed with a series of targeted workshops to ensure that the relationships and experience gained during the overseas trips was fully leveraged. 10 startups went to Singapore to discover the South East Asian markets, build partner relationships and gain investment for global growth. The other 10 companies went to Israel to engage with, and learn from, experts in one of the World’s most prolific high-tech centres.