Beauty and Skincare - VC Investments in China
To have a broad understanding of any VC investment trends in beauty and skincare in China, to better understand the emerging opportunities in the Chinese market for this vertical. An ideal response would provide the biggest areas attracting investment, other than skincare diagnostics devices, AR and virtual makeup try-on (Meitu), and natural/cruelty-free products.
- The modern Chinese beauty consumer is no stranger to switching brands, as they’re less loyal than older generations. Brands are already engaging Chinese key opinion leaders (KOLs) to help them assist in this storytelling process. The number of KOLs mentioning green beauty brands on Chinese social platforms has increased by 134 percent between Q1 of 2018 and Q1 of 2019, according to a recent report by PARKLU.
- To date, mentions of ‘green beauty’ on Chinese platforms are currently being dominated by three companies: South Korea’s Innisfree, the American brand Origins, and the homegrown brand Chando.
- Shanghai skincare brand Inoherb, has incorporated natural ingredients that have been used in traditional Chinese medicine to create green beauty products while also playing on popular perceptions in China that Western brands use excessive chemicals.
- Another new-to-the-scene brand to watch is Native Beauty, developed by Lisa Qi, the founder of the e-commerce platform Daling Family.
- Not only are consumers increasingly discerning, but the government has kept an eye on how beauty brands are marketing themselves. Brands identifying a beauty product as having “medical benefits” is now illegal.
- Tech company Perfect Corp believes AI- and AR-powered technology will play an increasingly essential role in the beauty industry, thanks to China’s tech-driven ecosystems and the interest of young consumers.
- China is the biggest driver of the outsized revenue that the beauty industry has seen in the past few years, according to a new report by J.P. Morgan.
- The top selling Chinese beauty brands are Pechoin, One Leaf, Chando, Mask Family·1908, and Herborist,
- Since the COVID-19 crisis, patriotic buying has increased in China. "As the COVID-19 pandemic further incites nationalist sentiments worldwide, it is likely to accelerate a “buy Chinese” trend that was already reshaping the beauty business in China."
Summary Of Our Early Findings Relevant To The Goals
- In the initial hour of research we were unable to determine past 3-5 year VC investment trends into skincare/beauty brands and technology in China. The local startup database called Itjuzi discussed in the chat transcript was not usable as it is only in Chinese, and it cannot be translated. We are pivoting the research based on that, and switching to consumer trends which would likely lead to investments in that area.
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