Birchbox, the brand best-known for popularising the beauty subscription box category, has been acquired by women’s health start-up FemTec Health.
The heavily backed, Texas-based firm, which is thought to be valued at around US$380m itself, laid down more than $45m for the beauty box brand, according to Forbes.
Under its new owner, Birchbox, which established its pioneering beauty box venture in 2010, will redirect its brand strategy towards skin care and health products.
By integrating FemTec’s BiomeAI platform, Birchbox subscribers will be able to input their personal health data and receive personalised skin care and health recommendations.
The business’ new twist will see its co-founder Katia Beauchamp, who is currently Chief Executive, step away from her role.
Beauchamp is expected to sell her remaining interest in the company that she helped found, and become a strategic advisor.
“I have always believed in the power of women as a community, and I believe this is a natural step in the evolution of Birchbox,” said Beauchamp.
“Eleven years ago, we were compelled by an ability to build deep customer relationships month after month.
“FemTec’s vision for the future of women’s healthcare was inspirational to me and I could see the opportunity for thousands of women in the Birchbox community to extend beyond consumer beauty products to a more holistic health and wellness offering.”
FemTec was initially established in May 2020 by Kimon Angelides, the founder of seven healthcare companies, including Livongo Health and Vivante Health, with more than $38m of investors’ money, but did not launch publicly until last month.
Among them are a number of big beauty businesses: Walgreens, Unilever and Estée Lauder, as well as Longmont Capital, Ithaca Life Sciences and Viking.
Alongside Birchbox, the start-up has also acquired online beauty store Mira Beauty for $28m and Liquid Grids, a social media marketing site.
Speaking about the business’ takeovers, Angelides said: “Our first acquisitions within women’s health and beauty are key to our mission to revolutionise the women’s healthcare and beauty industry.
“Women deserve a comprehensive, all encompassing model designed specifically for them.
“The starting point is to really understand a woman's healthcare needs and then apply smart technology like AI and predictive analytics to translate the data into actionable outcomes.”