“The industry has seen a fundamental shift in the last decade, from being owned by a few global players towards a more diverse set of direct-to-consumer brands. Independent brands have now captured more than 25% of the global beauty industry,” says Astle, who experienced the challenges of trying to launch her own beauty brand.
“This has created a wave of entrepreneurs, content creators and beauty professionals all hungry to enter the market with their own brand, but there hasn’t been anything to support them – until now.”
Blanka’s platform is pitched as a one stop shop, from product procurement, to personalisation, through to fulfilment. Supporting both established and nascent brands, the firm sources and customises North American made beauty and wellness products.
“The beauty industry continues to evolve, but one thing that has remained constant is the market’s exponential growth over the years, even amidst economic cycles. The success of this fundraising round, especially in this market, underscores that the beauty industry is bulletproof,” says Glenn Baptiste, former L’Oréal executive and advisor to Blanka.
“Blanka’s platform will unlock faster innovation for brands at all sizes. I’m excited about what’s to come – for both Blanka and what this means for the beauty industry broadly.”
“Kaylee’s experience in and around launching brands has uniquely positioned their team to develop a platform that is demonstrating impressive and sustained growth,” says Neil Grunberg, Managing Partner at Storytime Capital.
“As we learned more about the business, it was clear that Blanka was a great fit to Storytime’s thesis of supporting early-stage companies that can have a massive impact on the future of work.”
“The beauty industry may be massive and well-established, but it is still shockingly disjointed and inefficient. Blanka is paving the way for the future of the industry,” adds Catherine Williams, Partner at Dundee Venture Capital.
“By dramatically reducing the barrier to entry for independent brands, it is set to transform the landscape for consumers. We are really excited to be a part of that journey.”