Back in April, when CVS announced that it would be launching an assortment of Korean beauty brands in 2,000 of its stores and online, a bunch of stories came out proclaiming that yes, finally! K-beauty is not just a fad and it is definitely here to stay.
As I had written about before, Memebox is pivoting in the US and is no longer pursuing an e-commerce strategy. Rather, it seems they are moving towards a content platform strategy and monetizing by using affiliate links.
Coincidentally, Althea, a K-Beauty e-commerce and marketing generation platform has quietly launched in the US last month filling the void that Memebox left in its wake.
What is Althea?
Althea is a Korean startup founded by former Ticket Monster employees in 2015 that has mostly focused its efforts in Southeast Asia until now. They raised $3.5MM last year to fund their global expansion. They built a scalable e-commerce solution that centralizes buying and fulfillment in Korea and then localizes selling and marketing to the countries they serve. They started with Southeast Asia because there was so much pent up demand due to the popularity of Korean pop culture with K-Pop and Korean dramas that was a natural segue way to bring over K-Beauty.
I had an opportunity to chat with Althea CFO Jae Kim about their US launch.Read More