Business of Beauty: How Local Brand Colourette Secured Seed Funding

In a competitive beauty industry, homegrown brand Colourette stood out from everyone else. Here’s an insider look at how they succeeded.

While perusing makeup products in your favorite department store or shop are still ever so present despite the pandemic, the shift to online buying and selling has divided the market. This is how many businesses have grown despite not owning any physical shops of their own, and homegrown brand Colourette is one of them.

Founded by Nina Dizon-Cabrera, Colourette and Fresh Formula are tied to Niv Della Beauty Innovations, Inc.—a proudly Filipina-owned cosmetics company. With the goal of bringing high-quality, affordable, and effective beauty and skincare products to Filipinos, both brands, particularly Colourette, have quickly become cult favorites.

This caught the attention of Foxmont Capital Partners—an independent venture capital firm that focuses on Filipino-founded and Filipino-focused early-stage startups, which in turn, provided funding that will help Colourette and Fresh Formula grow to new heights.

Colourette’s Claim to Fame

But with all the beauty products in the market—whether local or international, online and in-store—how did Colourette stand out? Simple. By fostering a community mindset.

In an age of budol finds and authentic, user-generated content, Colourette used social and digital community-powered marketing strategies to build a following. Gone are the days when a brand puts itself on a pedestal—aspirational and unattainable for most.

Instead, Colourette chooses to actively engage with its followers through the Colourette Club, which doubles as an avenue for product creation and innovation by listening to the users and in turn creating products for said users. In fact, the Colourette founder and CEO Nina Dizon-Cabrera herself is at the mecca of this growing community. As an entrepreneur turned content creator, she strongly advocates for inclusivity and women empowerment, which ties in with her brand.

Colourette x Foxmont Capital Partners

Since its founding, Colourette has grown considerably as it expanded its presence in both online and offline channels. After all, the environment for growth is very fertile, as the Philippines has the fastest-growing e-commerce in the world (and how the pandemic made online buying a necessity).

With that in mind, Colourette capitalized on this trend, which made it into one of the leading grassroots direct-to-consumer (D2C) brands—consistently topping local and regional charts in the beauty category across leading e-commerce platforms Shopee and Lazada, one Colourtint at a time.

“We are excited to announce Foxmont’s investment in Niv Della,” said Franco Varona, Managing Partner at Foxmont Capital Partners. “We see high potential in the Philippine D2C beauty segment and believe Niv Della’s Colourette and Fresh Formula are strong brands that will continue to see impressive growth.

Teasing fans with exciting news of what’s to come, the Managing Partner adds that “We have worked on a compelling strategy with Nina and her team that involves new product launches, sales channel expansion, and distribution partnerships through Foxmont’s network that will help the company scale rapidly.”

Trends in the Beauty Industry

D2C is defined as “a type of business-to-consumer (B2C) retail sales strategy where a business will build, market, sell and ship a product directly to the customer.” Through this business model, the distribution process is more streamlined—thereby avoiding any middlemen like third-party retailers and distribution partners—which ultimately add costs to the product.

That way, Colourette can maintain its affordable prices while still offering high-quality beauty products.

As one of the many D2C players in the market, Niv Della’s Colourette and Fresh Formula reported significant growth following the consumers’ shift to online purchases. In turn, these D2C brands in the beauty and skincare category catch the attention of both regional and global investors, which guarantees them funding to further grow.

Take for example Indian beauty brand D2C brand Plum, which recently secured $35 million (around PHP 1.94 billion) in Series C funding—led by A91 Partners earlier this year. On the other hand, NAMA Beauty of Indonesia successfully raised $5 million (around PHP2.7 billion) in seed funding from AC Ventures in late 2021.

Even known beauty brands are making acquisitions of these small companies! Back in 2019, female-founded clean beauty brand Drunk Elephant was acquired by beauty giant Shiseido, which expressed a growing interest in D2C beauty on a global scale.

“Confidence in grassroots beauty and cosmetics brands is growing rapidly alongside the rising demand for high-quality yet affordable beauty products,” said Nina Dizon-Cabrera. “Additionally, the Philippines’ beauty and cosmetics industry, young and tech-savvy population create a vast opportunity for homegrown beauty brands like Colourette to reach new heights and gain market share.”

Photos from COLOURETTE