The online platform that offers beauty entrepreneurs in North America to create their own branded products in a few quick clicks has closed a USD 2 million seed funding round. The company aims to serve emerging independent beauty brands with no minimum order quantities and short production lead times.
Blanka has closed an oversubscribed USD 2 million seed funding round led by Dundee Venture Capital, with participation from Storytime Capital, Disruption Ventures and other notable investors including Fatima Yusuf, former executive at Shopify, and Manica Blain, a consumer-focused investor and Founder of Top Knot Ventures.
Founded in 2021 by Kaylee Astle, Doug Long, and Adam Chuntz, the North American private label beauty and wellness platform aims to power and accelerate the disruption of the beauty and wellness industry by doing away with high manufacturing minimums, long production lead times, and analogue order forms. The company promises that new beauty brands can debut on the market in under an hour, with just a few clicks and for less than USD 200.
Available to anyone with an idea
“The industry has seen a fundamental shift in the last decade, from being owned by a few global players towards a more diverse set of direct-to-consumer brands. Independent brands have now captured more than 25% of the global beauty industry,” says Kaylee Astle, Co-founder and CEO of Blanka, who experienced the challenges of trying to launch her own beauty brand. “This has created a wave of entrepreneurs, content creators and beauty professionals all hungry to enter the market with their own brand, but there hasn’t been anything to support them – until now.”
Available to anyone with an idea, Blanka’s platform is a one-stop-shop, from product procurement, to personalization, all the way to fulfillment. Supporting both established and nascent brands, Blanka sources and customizes North American-made beauty and wellness products.
“The beauty industry continues to evolve, but one thing that has remained constant is the market’s exponential growth over the years, even amidst economic cycles. The success of this fundraising round, especially in this market, underscores that the beauty industry is bulletproof,” said Glenn Baptiste, former L’Oréal executive and advisor to Blanka. “Blanka’s platform will unlock faster innovation for brands at all sizes. I’m excited about what’s to come – for both Blanka and what this means for the beauty industry broadly.”
Curated and customizable beauty products
Blanka claims to have subscribed thousands of brands within “12 months of steady growth” fueled entirely by organic marketing and strategic integrations with partners like Shopify. The platform curates a large selection of North American-made vegan and cruelty-free beauty products — including lipsticks, skincare, brow kits, and more — that can be customized with the brand’s logo. Blanka handles branding, fulfillment and shipping to offer an immediate solution that comes with zero minimums.
“Kaylee’s experience in and around launching brands has uniquely positioned their team to develop a platform that is demonstrating impressive and sustained growth,” said Neil Grunberg, Managing Partner at Storytime Capital. “As we learned more about the business, it was clear that Blanka was a great fit to Storytime’s thesis of supporting early-stage companies that can have a massive impact on the future of work.”
“The beauty industry may be massive and well-established, but it is still shockingly disjointed and inefficient. Blanka is paving the way for the future of the industry,” explains Catherine Williams, Partner at Dundee Venture Capital. “By dramatically reducing the barrier to entry for independent brands, Blanka is set to transform the landscape for consumers. We are really excited to be a part of that journey.”