Big-name investors put money into Memebox

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Big-name investors put money into Memebox

Memebox, a local e-commerce start-up specializing in beauty products, announced Thursday that it has received 33 billion won ($29.3 million) in funding from major start-up investors based in Silicon Valley, Hong Kong and Singapore.

According to the company, notable investors include Jerry Yang, co-founder of Yahoo and the second-largest shareholder of Alibaba, and Paul Pressler, former CEO of Disney and Gap.

The company has become the first Korean start-up to receive backing worth $8 million from one of the world’s largest start-up investors, Y Combinator.

Memebox is a subscription-based retailer founded by Ha Hyung-seok, a former employee at local online commerce site Ticket Monster with a passion for fashion.

Subscribers pay 16,500 won ($14.68) per month to Memebox for a package filled with samples of the latest cosmetics, which are worth about 70,000 won to 80,000 won altogether. After testing the items, customers can then purchase the full-size products at the brand’s online mall, which is available online via the website or a mobile app.

“This year, our business focus will be on expanding our overseas market and further innovating services at home,” Ha wrote in a statement on Thursday. “Through continuous growth, we aim to post 10 million users and 100 billion won in sales by the end of this year.”

Since its establishment in 2012 as an website-based service, Memebox has found a larger customer base with its mobile application, which launched early last year. The company recorded almost 80 percent of its sales last year in Korea as coming from the app.

Due to the success, the company started providing English and Chinese versions of the application in January.

The cosmetics e-commerce company said it had 500 percent growth year-on-year in 2014 in its user numbers and sales amount.

BY KIM JI-YOON [kim.jiyoon@joongang.co.kr]


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