If you follow #beautytok, #beautytube or any other beauty content on social media platforms, you know it can be hard to keep up with popular product trends. Summer International stays ahead of the game by identifying the most influential content creators and working with them to create new brands. Singapore-based Sumer International, based in Los Angeles and South Korea, announced today that it has raised $5 million in seed funding from investors including GDP Ventures, Teja Ventures, Gushcloud International and Singaporean angel investors Koh Boon Hwee and Shirley Crystal Tan.
Tony Ko, founder of NYX and CEO of Bespoke Beauty Brands, will also join Summer International as a strategic investor. NYX in 2010 In 2014, it was bought by L’Oreal for $500 million.
Xiaoski Kuik, founder and CEO of Summer International, said the company’s mission is to create an ecosystem to help influencers and creators use consumer data and analytics to launch and sell beauty brands. It works in the United States, South Korea, Singapore, the Philippines and Indonesia.
The company started in 2018 with Gushcloud International, an influencer marketing company. Since then, Summer International has contributed brands such as the face of skincare line Baby Face from Singaporean influencer Jamie Chua, who has more than 1.2 million followers, and wellness brands HANJAN, which debuted at Coachella in April and recently partnered with singer Nicole Scherzinger.
Quick told TechCrunch that Summer International looks for creators and influencers who have a strong connection with their audience based on engagement rates, how active their video-first platforms are, and a strong local community and global presence.
“Many times creators seek us out because of our reach and resources,” she says. “We have our own supply chain and the power to distribute brands across Asia through social commerce and live streaming platforms. Our goal is to establish these high-impact founders of next-gen beauty, skincare and wellness brands and provide them with the access and resources they need to go to market.
Other companies that work with creators to launch brands include Pietra and Forma Brands. According to Ko, what sets Summer International apart is that it owns its own distribution networks and also has a network of direct business and social business distributors, mainly micro-influencers based in Southeast Asia.
“It gives us the ability to understand what consumers want and buy, and that allows us to partner with creators to build brands more cost-effectively,” said Quick. Summer International’s live trade network helps brands and products from different parts of Southeast Asia understand what they want to buy. It provides information such as pricing and demographics to help create and market new brands.
Summer International brands are sold through a mix of digital and offline channels, including e-commerce platforms, social and direct commerce platforms, and big box stores. They are also available on Summer.store, the company’s proprietary social commerce network.