A beauty tech platform has raised £1.8m in pre-seed investment to fund the next stage of its growth.

Sourcerie, which is building a community-driven data platform and personalisation software for the beauty industry, has been backed by Playfair Capital and Vorwerk Ventures.

Ex-Palantir and L’Oreal female founders Kristin Cardwell and Alex Beyer started Sourcerie after successful careers spanning tech, beauty, and startups

The company has launched its first product, a personalised shopping marketplace between consumers, retailers, and brands.

By working with its supplier partners to structure their data, such as user reviews, and gathering additional data from its own users, Sourcerie’s marketplace is uniquely powered by a recommendation engine underpinned by its user-driven data platform.

The recommender matches brands and products against over three billion distinct user profiles, powering a completely bespoke shopping experience for every individual with over 90 per cent accuracy, and enabling one-stop-shop purchase across brands and retailers in a single destination.

Kristin Cardwell and Alex Beyer started Sourcerie after successful careers spanning tech, beauty, and startups.

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Cardwell explained: “We were frustrated by our own personal struggles. Prescription steroids worsened my eczema and I desperately wanted to find other ways to control the condition, which led to speaking with other eczema sufferers like Alex.

“I found getting recommendations for new products from people like me to be the most helpful, and thought, can’t we find a way to scale this?

“Knowing how important reviews are – with nearly 80 per cent of customers saying reviews are most influential for their final purchase decision – this seemed like the logical place to start.

“At the same time the $500bn global beauty and personal care market has become fragmented and frustrating for consumers to navigate.

“It is also becoming increasingly difficult for the industry to serve a wider spectrum of diverse consumers with a growing long tail of niche products and brands launching daily.

“We plan to become the go-to platform for both consumers and suppliers, for every decision in personal care, similar to how Farfetch has become the platform leader in luxury fashion.”

Beyer added: “Beauty is a massive market but a tech laggard. Making use of messy data is hard in any industry, but personalising for beauty has so much more nuance that can only be captured by scaling community input.

“The data platform and software we’re building has so many potential use cases for the broader industry. We’re already in discussions with many of our supplier partners about potential applications, from making data-driven buying decisions, to being their white label in-store recommender.

“Beauty and retail have historically struggled to attract engineering talent that can deliver on this, but it’s something that only we can deliver on with our expertise and platform.”

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A number of notable angels with relevant operational experience participated, including Sandrine Deveaux, EVP Future Retail at Farfetch; Mandeep Singh, exited co-founder of Trouva; Renee Parker, ex-head of Amazon Luxury Beauty; Vanessa Goddevrind, ex-EMEA head of beauty for McKinsey; Jason Scott, ex-head of Google’s US startup ecosystem; and Joe Falter, co-founder of Zapp and ex-Jumia founding team member.

Notable partners across European funds also participated in the round such as Laura Connell, partner at Atomico; Anna Sweeting, founder of Vaultier7; and Claire Cherry, partner at Joyance.

Jeevan Sunner, principal at Playfair Capital, said: “In recent years, we’ve seen the number of brands and e-commerce platforms within the beauty and personal care space explode, making it more difficult than ever to navigate.

“We’re thrilled to support Kristin and Alex to disrupt the status quo: helping consumers and suppliers apply objective, data-driven decision-making when it comes to one of the most personal aspects of our lives.”

Beyer started her career as one of Palantir’s first NYC hires helping some of the world’s largest organisations integrate and analyse data to fuel their most important business decisions.

Cardwell started her career at L’Oreal and then worked with the CEO of WPP on the company’s $1bn digital and data business.

They both subsequently went on to manage and grow various US venture-backed startups and scale-ups internationally, from Function of Beauty to Refinery29.

Cardwell is also one of the co-founders of Alma Angels, an angel community based in London whose members have backed hundreds of female founders since inception in 2019.

Since closing the £1.8m pre-seed round, they have attracted a world class team across engineering, product, commercial, and marketing.

The founding team boasts expertise across B2B software and data (Palantir, Cytora), ecommerce (Ocado, Slerp), and consumer tech (Manual, Gousto, Allbright).

The raise is also noteworthy given it is uncommon to see all-female founded teams raise pre-product and pre-revenue.