Picky Inc secures $1.3 million funding to advance authentic information sharing in the beauty industry
Picky, Inc., a mobile-first content platform providing consumers with authentic information in the global beauty space, has announced the completion of a $1.3 million pre-seed funding round led by NLVC, the China- and Asia-focused venture capital partnership specializing in early-stage investments.
Joining NLVC in the round were Wishcompany and Klim Ventures along with angel investors from the e-commerce, beauty, and online gaming sectors.
With the goal of becoming a global platform for authentic information on the $250 billion beauty industry, Picky will use its pre-seed funds to accelerate its fast-growing mobile community so that consumers can discover the best beauty brands and products for themselves, and brands can find and grow their customer base more efficiently.
Incorporated in the US and based out of South Korea, Picky launched in April 2020 and already has more than 40,000 users globally.
Born out of K-beauty’s international appeal, Picky founder Jihong Lee leveraged his Korean and Silicon Valley experience to tackle the confusion caused by the proliferation of information in the global consumer beauty product space — too many brands, too many products, too much generic marketing.
Picky is initially focusing on the skincare category – the beauty industry’s fastest-growing segment globally – and helps users educate themselves on these products before purchase by providing a science-based approach, a high organic engagement with thousands of user reviews and ratings, skincare experts’ contributions, and honest communication between brands and consumers.
Jihong Lee, founder and CEO, Picky, Inc: “I’m incredibly thankful to our impressive bench of investment partners. I hold each and every one of them at the highest level of respect, and for them to have a stake in Picky’s future is truly humbling. The beauty industry is on the cusp of a revolution. Consumers are more sophisticated in their search for beauty and skincare products and they want clean ingredients, eco-friendly packaging, and relatability. I believe a new reliance on authentic data will become the hottest trend in beauty marketing. Together with our investors, we can take Picky from a startup to a global phenomenon.”
Jeffrey Lee, co-founder and partner at NLVC: “NLVC sees great potential for leveraging Korea’s cultural and technologically-forward society towards large global opportunities. Picky leverages the established global popularity of Korea-sourced consumer goods, the founder’s Silicon Valley and Korean background along with the founding team’s expertise honed at world-class tech companies, creating a company with unmatched capability to lead this new wave. We foresee Picky expanding globally at a much faster clip. We’re honored to be supporting the Picky team.”
To help consumers educate themselves, Picky works with skincare experts — doctors, chemists, and formulators of beauty products — to shed light on the ingredients and buzzwords in skincare so Picky users can be empowered to find the best products to improve their skincare regimens.
The platform includes a Skin Type Analyzer, a one-minute tool that determines skin type with 14 easy questions. Based on the answers, users can discover the characteristics of their personal skin type and select what works best for them. Picky’s database, which is updated regularly, includes over 40,000 products from evergreen favorites to newly-launched indie K-beauty brands.