The online beauty industry in India is a burgeoning and fast-growing segment. With multiple players vying for a piece of the consumer beauty and cosmetics pie, personalised, highly-tailored experiences are the lay of the land for such startups.
However, that same level of personalisation and adaptable efficiency is rarely found in the offline world, especially in the beauty industry. Enter Yours, a beauty startup founded by ex-Uber executives, that is looking to re-imagine and simplify the skincare industry in India.
Yours, started in 2018 by Navneet Kaur and Shivam Sharma, both early-stage Uber employees, has just closed a $3.5 million seed round in August 2019 from Surge, Sequoia’s fund for early-stage domestic startups and other globally reputed VCs such as Global Founders Capital, Kindred Ventures (Uber’s early investor), alongside an undisclosed celebrity fund.
Yours’ offering enables users to complete an online skin assessment by uploading a selfie and answering questions about their skin, lifestyle, and environment. Data from the selfie is then extracted through computer vision algorithms, being combined with inputs from the questionnaire. The complete data set is then fed into a proprietary personalisation model which helps decodes skin needs.
Apart from funding received by Sequoia, Yours’ has active presence in countries such as United States of America, Australia and Singapore, which signifies that the startup’s product is resonating across varied geographies and is not just limited to the domestic market.
After the above process, active ingredients from Yours’ evolving, constantly updated ingredient dataset are mapped to create a personalised skincare regimen for each user. Personalised skincare is a highly untapped market in India still, with very few startups catering to the segment.
Yours takes guesswork out of the equation and allows users to modify and adapt their skincare as their lifestyle changes. If users choose Yours’ subscription, they get a new personalised regimen every 2 months which is automatically adjusted based on changing environments, lifestyles and skin needs.
Navneet, Founder & CEO of Yours, started her career in the beauty industry as a skincare brand manager at an FMCG conglomerate, and then spent half a decade in big tech and mobility, heading Operations and Strategy at Uber and OFO, on the other hand, Shivam spent his early years as a digital marketer before joining Uber where he led Business Development in SEA and later headed Strategic Partnerships for Grab.
As per Navneet, she started Yours after struggling to find a skincare regimen for her husband’s sensitive skin flare-ups. In her years scaling operations at tech giants, she saw the value of customer-first technology and its potential to transform the beauty world.
The future of skincare will focus on individuality, efficacy, and inclusivity. New consumers demand new models, and the imminent transformation of this industry will set aside the dated one-size-fits-all business model that produces en-masse; opting for clean and environmentally-friendly options that are, at once, data-driven and catered to individual needs.” says Navneet.
A key priority at Yours is to ensure that ingredients are ethically-sourced via a transparent supply-chain. The startup is creating clean, cruelty-free, and sustainable skincare products that have gone through stringent safety and efficacy tests at both the ingredient and product level. Formulated in Switzerland, Yours upholds the Swiss commitment to quality and innovation.
We want to create the best line of personalised skincare made with clean, sustainable ingredients that are safe and effective,” concluded Navneet.
The ‘Fully Yours’ personalised kit by the startup includes a day cream, night cream, eye serum, and face serum – essential products for a skincare routine. Moving forward, the company plans to continue bypassing the one-size-fits-all approach and is also looking to expand its portfolio of skincare products consistently incorporating customer feedback.
As per a report by TechSci Research, India’s skin care market stood at $ 1.6 billion in 2017 and is projected to grow at a CAGR of 9% to reach $ 2.7 billion by 2023, on the back of rising disposable income, increasing demand for skin care products across all age groups, especially young population, and growing awareness among consumers about various skincare routines.