Following an announcement of its expansion into Taiwan, Singapore’s VanityTrove has today revealed that it has acquired Glossybox Taiwan for an undisclosed sum. For Glossybox, a Rocket Internet company, this move completes its exit from several countries in the region in order to focus its efforts on larger markets in Europe and North Asia.
Both Glossybox and VanityTrove are subscription commerce companies modeled after Birchbox. Every month, they deliver ‘beauty boxes’ containing cosmetic samples to subscribers, while at the same time acting as a marketing platform for cosmetic brands. Read more
Glossybox, a beauty box clone by Rocket Internet, is by many metrics a wild success. The subscription commerce company recently revealed that it had shipped 2 million boxes to customers in its first 1.5 years of operations. To date, it has raised USD 72.3M from Holtzbrinck Ventures, Kinnevik and Rocket Internet itself.
Two million boxes is a whole lot of revenue. Here’s a back-of-the-envelope calculation: Assuming every subscriber has signed up for Glossybox’s recurring 3-month package for one year — the company would easily pocket an annual revenue of about USD 26M.
||What is subscription commerce?
||A new e-commerce model where consumers typically pay subscription fees to have products sent to their doorsteps on a regular basis.
There are a couple of catches though. First, we don’t know what Glossybox’s global operating costs and profits are. It could be that the venture is in the red since it would have pumped tons of money into global expansion just to get to its market-leading position.
Second, Glossybox has had some missteps. Namely, it entered Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Australia, only to withdraw after realizing the markets aren’t as plump as it thought they would be. Apparently, the Samwer Brothers are capable of misjudgments. Read more
Being a solo founder is no fun. That’s the vibe I got after speaking to three seasoned entrepreneurs in Singapore’s technology scene: Jon Yongfook of Tinytrunk, John Fearon of Dropmyemail, and Douglas Gan of VanityTrove.
But doing it alone isn’t just unpleasant, it hampers your chances of succeeding. According to a Startup Genome report, technology companies with one founder tend to raise less money, experience less user growth, and take longer to scale.
Despite these known facts, many entrepreneurs still take the journey alone, for whatever reasons. That’s actually not always a bad thing. As these entrepreneurs will tell you, there’s never an ideal time to start a business. So why should the lack of a co-pilot stop you from taking off?
Douglas Gan, founder of ShowNearby, a popular location-based service provider, announced that he has stepped down as CEO on 8th November and has been replaced by Lilian Seah. The founder, however, will stay on-board as executive director, focusing on overseas expansion.