Indonesian beauty-tech startup Social Bella has expanded its business into the first international market, Vietnam. Through its e-commerce arm Sociolla, the company aims to help local Indonesian brands to tap the neighboring country.
“Many Indonesian beauty brands are innovative and they have excellent quality while maintaining affordable price points,” said Social Bella co-founder and CEO John Rasjid. He even promises end-to-end support to ensure proper launch there. “We work closely with our partners to develop a holistic growth plan for Vietnam,” he said.
Social Bella chose Vietnam as the first international destination after months of research and planning, the company said. “As one of the fastest-growing markets for beauty and personal care in Southeast Asia, with a young and highly digitalized population, Vietnam shares many similarities with Indonesia,” said co-founder and president Christopher Madiam.
Based on a report by Cosmetics Design Asia, Vietnam’s beauty and personal care market remains resilient against the COVID-19 pandemic. The beauty sector specifically saw approximately 80% growth in online channels. Most Vietnamese started buying cosmetics and skin care products through platforms such as Shopee and Lazada, or local online vendors such as Tiki and Sendo. They will be strong competitors for Social Bella.
First introduced in 2015 by Rasjid, Madiam, and Chrisanti Indiana, Social Bella has evolved from being an e-commerce platform to turn into a digital beauty ecosystem. The company has raised a total of USD 110 million over the span of five years, with the latest funding round in July from Temasek, Pavilion Capital, and Jungle Ventures.
It comprises five business units: e-commerce site Sociolla, community platform SOCO, beauty and lifestyle site Beauty Journal, and a mom-and-baby marketplace called Lilla by Sociolla. Social Bella also has a brand development division that offers end-to-end distributor service for beauty and personal care brands. It runs eight physical stores and is estimated to serve approximately 30 million users in 2020.