Accelerator-born Kenyan startup launches “one stop shop for skincare”

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Kenyan startup Uncover Skincare, born out of Antler’s Nairobi incubator, has launched what it says is a “one stop shop for skincare”, availing knowledge and products from Korea to revolutionise the skincare experience in Africa. 

Uncover Skincare was founded by Sneha Mehta and Catherine Lee after they took part in the Nairobi-based Antler accelerator, which also subsequently provided the startup with a US$100,000 investment.

“Catherine and I bonded over our passion to empower women with confidence and we are starting with solving a problem in skincare,” Mehta told Disrupt Africa.

The Uncover Skincare platform educates consumers by providing a skin quiz and short “skintertainment” videos to solve what it believes is the biggest customer pain point in the past few region for skincare – knowledge. 

“Skincare is hard in Kenya, and beyond. Consumers are constrained by hard-to-find information and limited products,” said Mehta.

The startup is also developing its own line of products in partnership with top Korean ODMs to sell skincare products through its Uncover’s e-commerce website and B2B partnerships.

“Our approach is data-driven and we launched a survey earlier this year and received nearly 1,000 respondents, making it probably the largest skincare survey in the region. Our products are directly responding to the pain points of the consumer to provide a solution that is catered to the local market,” Mehta said.

Uncover has signed on a number of retailers to sell its products, and have secured a number of B2B partnerships. The startup’s initial focus is on Kenya, but it will expand after 2021 into East Africa and the rest of the continent. Mehta said its target customer is “anyone who cleanses their face”.

“Our primary target is 4.2 million urban Kenyan women between the ages of 15 and 44, with marketing focused on 25-34 year olds initially,” she said.

“The total addressable market is US$2.9 billion in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, South Africa and Nigeria alone, out of which our immediate market of Kenya is US$250 million. The Kenyan skincare market is growing at 100 per cent. Kenya’s largest e-commerce site, Jumia, saw 400 per cent growth in skincare between 2018 and 19.”

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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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