Memebox raises $66M for Korean beauty products e-commerce platform

Memebox, an e-commerce company specializing in beauty products from Korea, has closed a significant $65.95 million Series C funding round to fuel further expansion.

The financing was led by new investor Formation Group, with participation from returning backers Goodwater Capital and Pejman Mar Ventures. The deal takes Memebox, which graduated Y Combinator in 2014, to $95 million from investors to date. Its $17.5 million Series B round closed in March 2015.

Memebox began as a beauty box company when it was started by founder and CEO Dino Ha in 2012. It pivoted to a direct-to-consumer e-commerce model when the curated box model, pioneered by the likes of BirchBox, began to fade.

Today, the company has dedicated sales in Korea, China and the U.S. with a global service for other countries. Its staff of nearly 250 are spread across offices in San Francisco, Shanghai, Seoul, Taipei, Hong Kong and Singapore — beauty boxes account for just one or two percent of its business, Memebox said.

Arnold Hur, president of Memebox U.S., told TechCrunch in an interview that the company’s total GMV — the volume of transactions on its platform — is at a $150 million annual run rate, with 280 percent annual growth.

Global demand for Korean products is booming, fueled by K-Pop and Korean dramas, and not just among Asian consumers.

Korea is Memebox’s home turf and its largest single market for sales, but the U.S. and China together now account for more revenue than Korea. And they are growing fast. Former googler Hur said Memebox’s China business increased 1,200 percent year-on-year, while it grew 490 percent annually in the U.S.

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