If customization is the new beauty paradigm, Prose is set to deliver an elevated level of innovation to the hair care category. The brand has just raised $18 million in series B funding from Insight Venture Partners, Forerunner Ventures, ISAI, Lerer Hippeau Ventures and Correlation Ventures to enhance fulfillment infrastructure and data science research to meet consumer demand. The infusion brings Prose's total funding to $25 million.
The brand is reporting that it has achieved double-digit growth month-over-month since its founding in January 2018. To support 2019 growth, Prose will invest in the automation of its customization infrastructure, particularly in its Brooklyn, New York, site.
Further reading: 4 Ways to Expand the Hair Care Routine
The manufacturing system will reportedly have the capacity to customize as many as 10,000 products per day.
The company recently unveiled its custom hair oil and will soon launch new products for the hair care routine, all built around specifications such as hair type and texture, lifestyle habits, exposure to pollution, UV, humidity, hard water and wind, as well as diet and stress levels.
The brand has already collected 500,000 consumer profiles.
Products can be tweaked to be gluten- and fragrance-free, and vegan.
Prose will also build out its in-house data science group and will double the R&D team over the next year, which will reportedly speed up innovation.
"Our in-house teams of chemists and data engineers work together to train machine-learning algorithms," says co-founder and CTO Nicolas Mussat. "We're processing feedback from thousands of consumers, not only to improve their individual products, but also to train the overall algorithms for our community. This will help Prose reach unprecedented product satisfaction in the coming months."
The brand has already collected 500,000 consumer profiles featuring 135 data points each, including consumer selfies that have helped trained the company's "computer vision algorithms."
"Prose is paving the way for change in the beauty industry with micro-personalizatio..."
"Not only is Prose leading the charge in disrupting the industry, but by creating a fully-integrated software and supply chain infrastructure rooted on first-party data, they are building a defensible model that will ensure they are always one step ahead," says Nicolas Wittenborn, principal at Insight Venture Partners, who is joining Prose's board of directors.
"Prose is paving the way for change in the beauty industry with micro-personalization, and when you look at their growth and success over the past 12 months, it's clear that consumers were ready for that change," says Kirsten Green, board director and founding partner at Forerunner Ventures.
"While we embrace the latest in modern technology, our mission at Prose is deeply rooted in the history of beauty and its one-to-one approach to making products."
"Our mission is to help everyone achieve their dream hair, and that goes beyond our three-step hair care routine," says co-founder and VP Product Paul Michaux. "We want to bring the same holistic approach that we have during the consultation to all of the solutions that we're offering to our customers."
"While we embrace the latest in modern technology, our mission at Prose is deeply rooted in the history of beauty and its one-to-one approach to making products," says co-founder and CEO Arnaud Plas. "The traditional FMCG model, based on consumer segmentation and upfront mass production is coming to an end. It generates frustration for customers and waste for the planet. What we're building is a modern beauty company for the new generation."