Hermo focusses on sourcing Asian beauty products, specifically leveraging the Korean Wave and popularity the country’s beauty scene
Malaysia’s largest beauty e-retailer, Hermo, announced today it has expanded into Singapore with the goal of becoming one of Southeast Asia’s the biggest names in beauty e-commerce.
The company has already hired staff and has a warehouse in the city.
It will bring 500 makeup brands from Korean, Taiwanese and Japanese including brands previously unavailable in the city like April Skin, Cremorlab, A’pieu, Mamonde, Innisfree and Etude House.
Founded in 2013, the company says it generates RM 4 million (US$1 million) of revenue per month from its 250,000 users. Hermo also says it completes 2,000 transactions per day.
“Most cosmetics purchases in Southeast Asia are still made in brick and mortar stores, but I believe more shoppers will start buying makeup online because they can find better prices, a wider selection of products, and user feedback,” said Hermo CEO and Co-founder Ian Chua in an official statement.
The startup raised US$2 million from Gobi Partners, Crystal Horse Investments and angel investors in October 2015. At the time, Hermo specifically said it wanted to use the investment to expand into Singapore.
Hermo was started by Chua and P.S. Wong (Vice President of merchandise) and one year later current COO Ian Mok was brought on board.
The company was started after the Co-founders noticed how much time female friends and family spent picking out the perfect beauty products. The team believed e-commerce was the solution and so far have been proven correct.
As the leadership team is three men, the company did have an early hurdle not often seen in the startup world.
“I remember it was quite awkward when we walked into SaSa stores, doing research, and trying to understand what’s toner or emulsion, haha!” said Chua.
Hermo has differentiated itself from competitors like Luxola by focussing on Asian products, specifically brands out of Korea. Korean beauty products are very popular across Asia thanks in part to the Korean Wave —the global proliferation of Korean popular culture.
Luxola’s speciality is being a go-to spot for Western brands.
The new store in Singapore offers prices below retail and the company is promoting a ‘no-questions-asked’ refund policy for its customers.
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