Uncover Skincare, the Kenyan-based startup that specializes in tailored beauty and skin care products for African women, has raised $1 million in seed funding to scale its operations in the East African country and expand to neighbouring Nigeria, per TechCrunch,
Co-founded in 2020 by the trio of Sneha Mehta (CEO), Jade Oyateru (COO), and Catherine Lee (Advisor), Uncover Skincare seeks to revolutionize the African skincare market sector through data-led manufacturing that is aligned with the needs of the modern African woman.
While Mehta has over ten years of experience helping businesses scale across Africa, Oyateru is a nutritionist and consumer goods expert, and Catherine is an economist turned filmmaker.
Participants in the funding round included FirstCheck Africa, Samata Capital, Future Africa, IgniteXL, alongside angel investors Kwenhui Tawah, former COO of SokoWatch, and Patricia Ithau, a former executive of L’Oreal and current CEO of WPP Scangroup, FirstCheck Africa, Samata Capital, Future Africa, and IgniteXL invested in the round.
With the latest funding, Uncover Skincare has raised $1.225 million in its two years of launch.
“We are using the funding to launch more products, go into additional markets, and also double down on our tech and data to effectively produce, reach and market to our audience,” Mehta said.
Made in Korea but for Africans
Though Uncover Skincare uses African botanicals, the manufacturing of its finished products is handled by Korean original design manufacturers.
Mehta explained: “Our production happens in Korea (one of the world’s biggest beauty markets), where we are leveraging the best technology, labs, and scientists in the world who understand stability testing, safe ingredients, and formulations. We are able to deliver because women in our community have graciously provided information and tried our products, to help us formulate specifically for this market.”
Expanding into Nigeria
The company, which recently introduced a new range of skin products on its online platform, has perfected plans to expand to Nigeria in January. The beauty market in Nigeria, for one, has had an impressive run in recent times, thanks to the country’s rising population and the spike in modern retailing.
Other offerings of Uncover Skincare include virtual consultations and engaging content to gain more reach, which according to the co-founder, has grown the startup’s revenue by 20-fold.
“We have had incredible traction since, and our community has grown from zero to about 60,000 women in Kenya in two years… we have built brand awareness, loyalty, and our values of education and knowledge and empowerment have been established at the market,” Mehta said.
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