What a birthday present! Vanitee acquires Mefitted to fill B2B product gap

Kevin McSpadden
Vanitee FINAL

Vanitee will on-board the network of 120 brands and 30 beauty bloggers, eventually all operations will be integrated into the company


As one might expect from a beauty industry startup, Singapore’s mobile booking service Vanitee has bought itself a classy one-year birthday present. The company announced today it has acquired the beauty e-directory company Mefitted for a “low-to-mid six-digit” Singapore dollar figure.

Vanitee CEO and Co-Founder Douglas Gan told e27, “[the deal is] on a part-share part-cash basis”.

As the top mobile beauty marketplace in the city, Gan viewed the deal as an opportunity for Vanitee to fill a product gap.

“Mefitted is very strong with their B2B solutions with salons. That is an area that Vanitee is quite weak in right now.”

“We largely serve the freelance, independent artists who are either working from home or at small salons. Mefitted’s know-how and B2B web tools — with [more than] 120 branded salons — will enable us to offer an all-rounded solution to beauty salons,” Gan said.

Also Read: [Updated] Vanitee secures US$3M from Ivan Lee and Japan’s @Cosme

With 1,700 beauty artists on the Vanitee platform, the Mefitted network of 8,200 shops (from the 120 brands mentioned above) will be on-boarded over the next few months. Eventually, all the operations, including the brand, will be integrated into Vanitee.

Gan said the company will review the assets of Mefitted.com and VanityTrove.com (two platforms with a ‘discovery first’ blueprint) and figure out how to merge them into the Vanitee website at a later date.

“Vanitee killed our website six months back as 98 per cent of our bookings came from our Vanitee mobile app. So, at this time, our focus is on improving our mobile features and translating the B2B web solutions that Mefitted has provided to salons onto mobile,” Gan explained.

The story goes that the two companies had met on multiple occasions in 2015 to share visions and ideas. In May 2016, Mefitted Co-Founder Joanne Teo began to seriously consider the acquisition proposition.

“The opportunity to empower beauty artists through disruptive innovation to make a name for themselves was very attractive to me. There is a window of opportunity to elevate the beauty industry to the level of sophistication consumers of travel and food enjoy through booking and discovery websites and apps,” she explained.

Teo will be joining the Vanitee team while the other two Mefitted team members will pursue different ventures.

To back-up its claim as the top mobile beauty app in Singapore, Vanitee cited over S$110,000 (US$81,000) in sales per week for the first quarter of 2016. The company also claims a market dominance in the Nails, Makeup, Hairstyling and ‘Brow and Lash’ categories.

Its main competition is Rocket Internet’s Vaniday, which was launched in Singapore in December. In March, Vaniday had about 800 salons on its platform in the city. It also has operations in Australia, Brazil, UAE and Italy.

Also Read: Singapore’s Vanitee raises US$1.4M in Series A round

As for Vanitee, it brands itself as an end-to-end system and cites appointment management, a single-point customer contact centre, a payment solution and a customer relationship management service as justification for its ‘do it all’ claim.

Pointing towards its role as something of a personal branding tool, the company is set to hold its inaugural Vanitee Awards 2016 this year in partnership with the Singaporean magazines Her World and Simply Her — publications of Singapore Press Holdings Magazines.

The award show is meant to give “beauty artists a platform to be honoured for their excellent skills and service, earning more trust and credibility with consumers”, the Vanitee statement read.

Photo courtesy of Vanitee.

 

 

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