A UAE-based ethical cosmetics e-retailer is in discussions with potential pre-seed round investors, according to its co-founder.
Powder will raise $200,000 in the coming weeks, with a full-seed round likely to raise a minimum of $1 million later in the year, Amina Grimen told Al Arabiya English.
Raising $150,000 last summer the funding kick-started its business and helped market and solidify its product portfolio.
The COVID-19 pandemic stalled the fundraising launch, originally planned for early 2020.
“Fortunately, the market conditions that emerged have been extremely favorable to both beauty and e-commerce,” she explained.
“On the back of this, we launched a Pre-Seed round in late-May and successfully secured investment from both Angels and friends and family.”
“Skincare has really become a frontrunner in the beauty space following the pandemic.”
COVID-19 led to a surge in the cosmetic sector, said Grimen.
“It was already on the rise in the past couple of years, but the pandemic with the rise of self-care has fast tracked the industry.
“During the lockdown, we witnessed a surge in sales and demand for our beauty offering.”
Powder offers Middle East-based customers a selection of products from boutique global brands.
“We provide insights on ‘all things beauty’ through an informative blog and Editor’s notes on each product, so you can make the right choice for your skincare and haircare needs,” she said.
The company now aims to build on its presence in the UAE and Saudi Arabia with the plan to expand across the GCC in 2022.
It entered Saudi Arabia late last year and introduced a number of clean beauty brands, including an exclusive partnership with RÓEN Beauty, a clean makeup brand from Los Angeles. Its product range includes niche and boutique brands from other parts of the world.
“Our aim is to focus on products that typically focus on skincare, haircare, and make-up with clean sophisticated formulations,” she said.
“As a content first e-retailer, we offer an edited choice of the world's best beauty products, helping our customers find the solutions they need.”
The audience align with their own evolving values, and look for educational, and informative content, particularly visual and video, she added.
“Many legacy brands are tailgating the 'clean beauty' movement, but niche brands are winning the race with consumers that are more confident with products that have sustainability at their core,” she said.
The demand for beauty products is one that is hard to shrug off, and people will always want to feel and look their best, Grimen concluded.