Kenya’s Uncover raises $1M to expand skincare product enterprise across Africa
Africa’s beauty and personal care business is expanding, fueled by a youthful and fashion-conscious population, greater purchasing power, and urbanization. The market’s potential has attracted large companies in recent years, with Fenty Beauty by Rihanna and LVMH being the most recent arrivals.
Niche local companies are also arising to provide customized beauty and skincare goods. Uncover Skincare, located in Kenya, is one of them, and it aims to transform the market via data-driven production that is in line with the demands of the contemporary African woman.
Uncover is increasing its operations in Kenya and moving to Nigeria in January, thanks to a $1 million initial financing. This comes after the company recently launched a new line of skincare products, with ambitions to expand further next year. Its items are offered via its online platform, marketplaces, and partner brand shops.
“We want to use the financing to launch more products, expand into new areas, and double down on our technology and analytics to successfully develop, reach, and promote to our audience,” Uncover co-founder and CEO Sneha Mehta told TechCrunch.
In addition to angel investors ex-SokoWatch COO Kwenhui Tawah and current WPP Scangroup CEO Patricia Ithau, the round included FirstCheck Africa, Samata Capital, Future Africa, and IgniteXL. Uncover has already collected $1.225 million in total fundraising since its inception in 2020.
Uncover is extending its operations in Kenya and will enter Nigeria in January. This comes after the company recently launched a new line of skincare products, with ambitions to expand further next year. Uncover Skincare provided the image.
Uncover was started by Mehta, Jade Oyateru (COO), and Catherine Lee (advisor), who were motivated to create a data-driven, digital-first health and wellness brand for African women by using their experience and skills.
Mehta has over ten years of expertise assisting firms in Africa to develop, while Oyateru is a nutritionist and consumer products, specialist. Lee is a former economist who is now a filmmaker.
After incubation at Antler, Uncover was launched. It makes use of African botanicals and outsources production to Korean original design manufacturers, who they claim assure their goods are “healthy, safe, inexpensive, and effective.”
“Our manufacturing takes place in Korea (one of the world’s largest beauty markets), where we use the greatest technology, laboratories, and experts in the world who understand stability testing, safe chemicals, and formulas.” “We are able to deliver because women in our community have generously contributed information and tested our goods, allowing us to develop precisely for our market,” Mehta said.
To reach more customers, the firm also provides virtual consultations via an in-house esthetician, creates skin-tertainment material, and just launched a skin quiz for individualized suggestions.
“I have direct experience with a lack of product safety, a lack of knowledge, and a sense of being trapped.” This is one of the reasons we are developing these technologies to provide consumers with individualized information and recommendations, including nutrition guidelines.”
Mehta claims that the startup’s income has more than doubled since its inception, thanks to increased demand for its goods and the community it is building.
“We’ve had great traction since, and our Kenyan community has grown from zero to about 60,000 women in two years… “We have developed brand recognition, loyalty, and our ideals of education, information, and empowerment in the market,” she added.
Uncover intends to expand and enhance this network, beginning with Kenya and Nigeria, the continent’s next key beauty and personal-brand marketplaces after South Africa.