Luxola is a start-up online company based in Singapore that sells cosmetics. The founder, Alexis Horowitz-Burdick, and American living in Singapore, founded the company in 2011. After chatting with her girlfriends and constantly hearing complaints about a lack of reputable online sites to purchase makeup and related products, Horowitz-Burdick founded Luxola with some seed money and 18 brands and four employees. Today, the site offers more than three hundred brands and has a much larger workforce. Luxola was recently bought by Sephora parent company LVMH.
After leaving her 9-5 job for a consulting firm, for which she founded the Asian office, Horowitz-Burdick started her first venture, SweetSpot which offered flash sale on luxury items. However, as more and more companies entered the flash-sale space, she was unsure of her future and sold what she could to begin to her next company. Horowitz-Burdick faced the challenge of deciding which e-commerce to venture into after having worked in Southeast Asia for four years. After thorough research, she discovered the market and demand for cosmetics was very large. Specifically in SE Asia there was no reputable site to order from and few popular brands shipped to the region.
Luxola was founded in June 2011 and after a rough start, eventually got funding from WaveMaker Labs. Horowitz-Burdick said,”We were able to put in enough collateral, and tell them who we were and what we were going to be about. […] I think it’s about having good sales people at the same time.” The funding also helped their problem of high inventory storage costs especially as the company has expanded to markets including Brunei, Indonesia, Philippines, UAE, Hong Kong, Thailand and Malaysia.
What Luxola is about:
Today, the company has over 500 different products and 48 brands.
Luxola makes quick and efficient deliveries on their orders within a day unlike other companies which take up to three days. In addition, Luxola makes free deliveries to its customers in Singapore. Customers from overseas are able to acquire products through free delivery if they make purchases up to SG$40 (a promo uncommon for SE Asian brands). Luxola is also differentiated as, according to Horowitz-Burdick , “The developers on the team are building a localized website for each of the four countries, and we should be able to see them by the end of this year.”
The company has a team consisting of ten employees who answer customer’s enquiries and pick calls in turns. Luxola is therefore able to achieve its success since each employee is highly dedicated in his or her work.
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In order to increase its activities all over the world major investments have taken place in luxola. Luxola has been able to raise over 15 million US dollars from investors such Gree Ventures, a firm that also invested in female focused ecommerce sites such as Berrybenka. In addition, they’ve received investments by Transcomos a Japanese online store that also deals with beauty products. The company invested $ 3 million additional funds. John Wu added a US $2 million investment funds.
“We are impressed by what Luxola has achieved so far. Beauty products and services may have universal appeal across time and space, but when we met with Luxola’s ambition, dedication, and capability to create seamless access between Southeast Asian consumers and global authentic beauty products, we see incredible potential and possibilities ahead.” Wu said.
Many more investors have generously funded the beauty company, among them is US-based Queensbridge Ventures owned by a former musician, the Global Brain which invested a million dollar and also an Indian company known as Tholons Capital.
These new investors will encourage the growth of the market in the Southeast. The main purpose of the new funds will be to set up new operations in the region and increase the number of customers using their product.
Acquisition; Luxola company has been acquired by LVMH which is the parent company of Sephora. This acquisition came after the beauty company had acquired lots of funds and investments close to $15 million. The valuation of Luxola was, according to rumors, valued at close to $35 million by the time of acquisition. “Sephora’s investment enables us to take this vision further. With greater market reach and brand depth we will offer an unparalleled customer experience,” Horowitz-Burdick said in a statement.
Today, Luxola Company operates in over 12 countries that include Brunei, Indonesia, Philippines, UAE, Hong Kong, Thailand, India, Australia, and Malaysia and across Southeast Asia. The company’s customer base has increasingly grown in the world as the company has more than 250 brands and 4000 products.