Global online beauty platform Althea has raised 8 billion won (USD $7.22m) in Series B funding from Korea Industrial Bank, First Floor Capital, Innoven Capital, Bridges Alliance Partners and Tekton Ventures. The startup also previously received seed funding from Bon Angels Partners and 500 Startups in 2015 and 2016.
Althea currently operates its platform in the US and several South East Asian countries including Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand. With this latest investment, the startup plans to further cement its position in the global market by opening up service in additional locations such as Vietnam and bolstering its mobile services and customer data analysis.
Althea CEO Kang Dae-eop founded the company in 2005 with Kim Jae-yoon and Ticket Monster founder Daniel Shin. Since then, it has grown as a leading beauty platform in both the US and Asia and has gained popularity by word-of-mouth for its variety of products and affordable prices. The website plays a major part in the marketing of Korean cosmetics and currently has 160 brands, with over 4000 products to choose from.
CEO Kang says that through the latest investment, one goal for the company is to grow as a ‘fast beauty brand’ that reflects the latest digital trends around the globe.
“K-beauty products on the market are mostly targeted at Korean and Chinese consumers,” said a spokesperson for the company. “However, consumers with different skin colors and from different environments want localized products with the same quality of K-beauty cosmetics. Althea is a platform that is reflecting these special attributes well.”
Althea has also begun selling its own products based on feedback from overseas customers and influencers. The response so far has been good, with its Petal Velvet Powder selling out in just one month. Based on this, the company says that it plans to launch its first skincare line by the end of the year.