Uncover Skincare Raises $1m to Expand into Nigeria

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By Adedapo Adesanya

Kenya-based Uncover Skincare, which is seeking to revolutionise the beauty and personal care sector through data-led manufacturing, has raised a $1 million seed fund to expand into the Nigerian market.

The funding round saw the participation of FirstCheck Africa, Samata Capital, Future Africa, IgniteXL, in addition to angel investors, ex-SokoWatch COO, Kwenhui Tawah, and ex-L’Oreal executive and current WPP Scangroup CEO, Patricia Ithau. The new funding brings the total amount raised by Uncover, since its launch in 2020, to $1.225 million.

The company recently introduced a new range of skin products in the market, with plans to launch more next year. Its products are sold through its online platform, on marketplaces, and in the stores of partner brands.

Uncover was launched after incubation at Antler. It uses African botanicals and outsources its manufacturing to Korean original design manufacturers, who they say ensure its products are healthy, safe, affordable, and effective.

Speaking with Tech Crunch, the co-founder and chief executive officer of the company, Sneha Mehta, said, “We are using the funding to launch more products, go into additional markets, and also double down on our tech and data to effectively produce, reach and market to our audience.

“Our production happens in Korea (one of the world’s biggest beauty markets), where we are leveraging the best technology, labs, and scientists in the world who understand stability testing, safe ingredients, and formulations. We are able to deliver because women in our community have graciously provided information and tried our products to help us formulate specifically for this market,” said Mehta.

The startup also offers virtual consultations through an in-house esthetician, and produces skin-tertainment content to reach more users, and recently introduced a skin quiz for personalized recommendations.

The CEO said since launching, the startup’s revenue has grown 20-fold, buoyed by the growing demand for its products and the community it continues to build.

“We have had incredible traction since, and our community has grown from zero to about 60,000 women in Kenya in two years… we have built brand awareness, loyalty, and our values of education and, knowledge and empowerment have been established at the market,” she said.

Uncover hopes to continue building and strengthening this community, starting with Kenya and Nigeria, which are the next major beauty and personal-brand markets in the continent after South Africa.

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