A new social commerce app for the beauty industry has exited stealth mode with the announcement of €5.4 million (£4.8m) in funding.
AGORA’s seed round was led by Draper Esprit with participation from Lakestar, Angel Capital Management, and other investors.
Founded in 2019, the AGORA app allows its users to share beauty-based video content which includes links to the beauty products used and mentioned.
Co-founders Riccardo Basile and Elizabeth Craft Townsend-Rose were previously part of the founding team of eCommerce firm Lazada, which was bought by Alibaba in 2016.
The app already has 50,000 registered users, who have created more than 50,000 videos during its soft-launch earlier in the year.
Next year the start-up plans to scale its social selling, build new commerce features, and roll out more advanced tech solutions such as livestreaming and AI-powered personalisation.
Riccardo Basile, co-founder and CEO of AGORA, commented: “We built AGORA to transform the online beauty shopping experience and create opportunities for real people to monetise their talent and creativity, something that has only been available to brand-sponsored social media influencers. AGORA will empower a new category of entrepreneur.”
Lizzie Craft Townsend-Rose, co-founder and President of AGORA, said: “We will use the funds to reach new audiences and to build out the platform.
“We are particularly excited about the opportunity to offer live-streaming events and to use data in order to deliver a personalised, differentiated beauty shopping experience.”
Christoph Hornung, Investment Director at investor Draper Esprit, added: “We have a strong conviction that there is a huge market opportunity in Europe to build the predominant social e-commerce platform for beauty.
“Riccardo, Lizzie and I have worked together before at Lazada; we are all strong believers in fast execution. Draper Esprit is extremely excited to back AGORA as they build the largest social beauty business in Europe and beyond.”