[interview] Netflix of Beauty, Mira, Receives $9M in New Funding

Mira Beauty seeks to provide a Netflix-like personalized shopping experience.
Mira Beauty seeks to provide a Netflix-like personalized shopping experience.

Mira Beauty, a personalized beauty marketplace launched in October 2019, has closed $9 million in funding from Unilever Ventures and 14W. This Netflix of beauty will phase out its beta app and merge it with its newly designed website.

Mira Beauty, powered by a proprietary algorithm, now reaches millions of beauty shoppers each week and features more than 100,000 products from more than 3,000 brands. The platform reportedly translates more than 10 million product pages, reviews, photos and videos "into one clear, simple, and personalized shopping experience."

Mira Beauty's brand- and retail-agnostic technology curates top-rated skin care and makeup products from the web and develops unique categories and assortments targeted to indivuduals' tastes, needs, price points and values.

The platform has amassed a massive collection of female-founded and Black-founded brands, as well as large assortments of vegan, recyclable and K-Beauty products. More categories are forthcoming. The company plans to introduce new product categories and assortments by the end of the year.

Recently, Mira Beauty noted that its Black Founder category had grown more than 1,200 skin care and makeup products. The collection includes more than 400 Black-founded brands, including Black Girl Sunscreen, Briogeo, Fenty Skin, Juvia's Place, Mented Cosmetics, Pat McGrath Labs, The Honey Pot Company and Uoma Beauty.

In exclusive comments to Global Cosmetic Industry, Jay Hack, co-founder & CEO of Mira Beauty, says, "The pandemic has been a period of accelerated learnings for everyone in e-commerce. We've seen beauty consumers rapidly shift towards purchasing online and expressing a greater preference for skin care and personal care products compared to pre-quarantine. Similarly, we've seen a spike in engagement with entertaining, lower-intent content, such as skin care routine tutorials, as consumers have more time available for leisurely at-home browsing and beauty-related entertainment."

Hack adds, "We all know that beauty consumers are incredibly idiosyncraticeveryone has unique needs and preferences and, understandably, they require a high level of diligence before spending their hard-earned money on products that, unfortunately, may not work for them. We've always built our platform with the diversity of our consumers in mind, prioritizing a rich feature set that allows consumers to navigate the complex world of beauty while finding inspiration in others with similar traits and preferences. We can, for instance, seamlessly surface reviews from customers with similar skin types so as to better guide consumer purchasing decisions and reducing friction along the journey towards purchase. Similarly, you can easily filter videos in order to see content creators with similar skin tones, skin type and more. In reducing the amount of ambient and inapplicable information our customers see, we're able to empower them to make more informed decisions with a fraction of the effort."

In announcing the recent funding, Hack says, "Our belief is that beauty should be a celebration of personal choice. We designed Mira Beauty to improve the accuracy and relevance of beauty product searches and recommendations per individual. Beauty consumers increasingly want to interact with brands and purchase products online in a way that feels authentic, frictionless and collaborative, and today's specialty retailers, direct-to-consumer stores and marketplaces are ill-equipped to retrofit their businesses to this new reality. We are thrilled to partner with 14W, Unilever and other like-minded investors who have track records of backing market-leading innovations." 

"Mira Beauty is like Netflix: It rolls exactly what you want to see, and seamlessly," says Ally Tam, who led the partnership for 14W. "Mira Beauty was quick to carve a niche for itself where all individuals can easily find the products that work for them, and we believe this new capital will help the company scale their services to meet the demands of a rapidly growing online audience."

"This round of funding is the result of impressive business fundamentals for Mira Beauty, and it will help further the company’s mission to impart the knowledge and experiences of the beauty community," says Stephen Willson, investment director at Unilever Ventures, the venture capital and private equity arm of Unilever. "Mira Beauty is well-positioned to deliver cutting-edge technology to beauty e-commerce, alongside more simplicity and transparency."

"No two people are the same, and each person’s skin can need different things at differing times," says JR Little, vice president of global brand marketing at Dermalogica. "Personalization is the future of the beauty industry–from platforms to products–meeting peoples’ unique needs is key to success. The brands and businesses that move fast into personalization at scale will win over the long-term."

"Beauty’s become so vast and complex, Mira Beauty is simplifying the search and shopping experience for everyone, professionals and consumers alike," says David Lopez, celebrity hairstylist, beauty and grooming creator and Ulta Beauty Pro. "There is so much noise in beauty, and we need better and more accurate resources like Mira Beauty to educate ourselves and cut through what’s working for each individual specifically."

"We know our guests love the app, and we are bringing what has made the app a success to the website, as well as a brand experience that celebrates self-confidence and diversity," says Brandon Garcia, co-founder and COO of Mira Beauty. "With something as inspiring as beauty, we're making it easier than ever to shop for skincare and cosmetic products that work for you—shopping for beauty should be an empowering moment."

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