Proving the beauty industry continues to be recession-proof, the platform will service independent beauty brands that make up a quarter of a US$430B market
VANCOUVER, British Columbia–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Blanka, North America’s leading private label beauty and wellness platform, announced today it has closed a US$2M seed funding round. The oversubscribed round was led by Dundee Venture Capital, with participation from Storytime Capital, Disruption Ventures and other notable investors including Fatima Yusuf, former executive at Shopify, and Manica Blain, a consumer-focused investor and Founder of Top Knot Ventures.
Founded in 2021 by Kaylee Astle, Doug Long, and Adam Chuntz, Blanka is powering and accelerating the disruption of the beauty and wellness industry, by doing away with high manufacturing minimums, long production lead times, and analogue order forms. With Blanka, a new beauty brand can be launched in under an hour, for less than $200.
“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 Kaylee Astle, Co-founder and CEO of Blanka, 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.”
Available to anyone with an idea, Blanka’s platform is a one-stop-shop, from product procurement, to personalization, all the way to fulfillment. Supporting both established and nascent brands, Blanka sources and customizes high-quality 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,” said 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.”
The investment comes after 12 months of steady growth for Blanka, which now has thousands of brands subscribed to the platform, fuelled entirely by organic marketing and strategic integrations with partners like Shopify.
“Kaylee’s experience in and around launching brands has uniquely positioned their team to develop a platform that is demonstrating impressive and sustained growth,” said 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,” explains Catherine Williams, Partner at Dundee Venture Capital. “By dramatically reducing the barrier to entry for independent brands, Blanka is set to transform the landscape for consumers. We are really excited to be a part of that journey.”
Blanka’s technology makes it easy for independent brands of any size to source and customize the highest quality beauty products – with no minimums. By curating a large selection of products and handling branding, fulfillment and shipping, Blanka offers an immediate solution that comes with zero minimums, zero commitment and zero risk. For more information, visit https://blankabrand.com/.
About Dundee Venture Capital
Dundee Venture Capital was formed in 2010 to lead seed rounds in regions and entrepreneurs historically underserved by venture capital. Dundee has more than $90M under management across three funds and has invested in more than 50 world-class founding teams in 20 different cities. For more information visit dundeevc.com.
About Storytime Capital
Storytime Capital provides pre-seed and seed stage funding to innovative and breakthrough companies around the world that are changing the landscape of the Future of Work. Led by an all-star team of founders, operators, and investors, Storytime Capital leverages a world-class network and deep experience to provide founders support in every aspect of their journey to revolutionize the way individuals and organizations define, discover, develop, execute, evaluate, and incentivize work. For more information, visit Storytime.Capital.