Korean beauty was very hot in Korea in 2016 and that trend does not seem to be fading in 2017. Korea has revolutionized the skin care, hair, and makeup industries. Cleansers, face creams, toners, eye creams, etc have exploded in Korea where just a decade ago no one was using exfoliators and face masks on a regular basis. Korea now has some of the best plastic surgeons, dermatologists, and aestheticians and are starting to get recognized globally.
Korean startup Huiseoul was once a cosmetics boutique located in the Seoul shopping district in Myung Dong in late 2014. Now it has become a player in exporting cosmetics exclusively to the Chinese market. China has fallen in love with Korean beauty and now Huiseoul is cashing in on China’s love of the “Korean Wave”. They have been successfully selling reasonably priced Korean cosmetics to China since early 2015.
Huiseoul has sales representatives in Seoul as well as Shanghai and does $90 million in annual gross monthly volume. Since they work exclusively with China, their staff consists of half Korean workers and half Chinese workers. They have over 200,000 users and that should continue to grow as Huiseoul continues to market their brand to other southeast countries. They also have an online forum where beauty consultants provide advice for potential customers.
Silicon Valley has also taken notice and has already invested in Huiseoul. Altos Ventures invested $3 million in 2015. This goes along with the many Chinese investors they continue to attract. Huiseoul expects to get an additional $10 million in funding in 2017.