Sequoia-backed beauty tech startup Yours raises USD 3.5 million seed round

The startup uses computer vision and machine learning to create personalized skincare regimens for its users.

Image from Yours PR (Redhill) Yours sample kit. Yours.

Yours, a Singapore-based beauty tech startup has raised USD 3.5 million in its seed round from Sequoia’s Surge accelerator, Global Founders Capital, Kindred Ventures (Uber’s early investor), and an undisclosed celebrity fund, according to a company statement.

Founded in November 2018, the direct-to-consumer skincare startup uses computer vision and machine learning to create personalized skincare regimens for its users.

The platform promises an easy process to get a personalized skincare program where the user only needs to complete an online questionnaire about his or her skin conditions, lifestyle, and environment, followed by uploading a selfie onto the platform. Yours will then extract the data using computer vision algorithms and combine it with the input from the questionnaire into its proprietary model, to provide a skincare regime for each user based on the firm’s products.

The startup offers a subscription service, in which the skincare regimen is automatically updated every two months based on changing weather conditions, lifestyle and skin needs.

The company’s products are not cheap, standing at USD 129 for a kit consisting of a day cream, night cream, eye serum, and face serum. The company explained that one reason for this hefty price tag is that the firm produces all its products in Switzerland, using “clean, cruelty-free and environmentally-friendly ingredients.”

Yours was founded by the Indian couple Navneet Kaur and Shivam Sharma. Prior to founding Yours, Kaur, the company’s CEO, worked at Uber and Ofo, while Sharma, Yours’ chief marketing officer, held successive roles at Uber and Grab.

The commercialization of artificial intelligence and augmented reality has led to a revolution in the beauty industry. Bigger established players such as L’Oreal and Estee Lauder have been acquiring or incubating startups to boost their business. L’Oreal even set up its own competition called L’Oreal Innovation Runway to scout and partner with startups and small enterprises in the Asia Pacific region to improve its product innovation.

The direct-to-consumer business model is poised to become a major trend within the beauty industry, according to CB Insights.