Subscription cosmetics shopping site Birchbox has spread its wings and soared overseas. The Accel-based e-commerce company announced Thursday that it has acquired its European counterpart, JolieBox, which not only marks Birchbox’s first acquisition, but also marks its official international expansion.
While the terms of the deal were not disclosed, the acquisition gives Birchbox a critical touchdown point in the European e-commerce market. Founded in Paris in 2011, Joliebox raised €1 million from Alven Capital and promptly expanded to the UK and Spain. Thus, the deal gives Birchbox an instant subscriber base in some of the biggest European markets, as well as partnerships with over 200 European cosmetic brands.
Founded in 2010 by Harvard Business School students Hayley Barna and Katia Beauchamp, Birchbox’s U.S. reach currently stands at some 100,000 subscribers. While there’s no word on how many new subscribers the acquisition brings to Birchbox’s door, the deal brings the company’s brand partners to more than 400 worldwide.
Birchbox was not immediately available to comment, but in a prepared statement devoid of any informative facts, co-founder Katia Beauchamp had this to say about the deal: "The delight of discovery extends across any border and to any culture. JolieBox, with their like-minded team and brand ethos, is the absolute perfect partner to build relationships with new customers and brand partners internationally while simultaneously improving distribution as we scale."
The invite-only site allows users to sign up and pay $10 a month to receive beauty and cosmetics samples picked specifically for them based on a profile they fill out on sign-up. Its brand partners include Lancôme, Yves Saint Laurent, Laura Mercier, Kiehl's, Benefit, Stila, Caudalie, Payot, L'Occitane, Bourjois, and L'Oreal, among others.
Subscribers also get access to Birchbox’s interviews, tutorials, and other media related to beauty. The site also serves as a retail outlet for the very products that members will be trying out. So, if someone likes a certain sample, they can head to Birchbox.com and purchase a full-size version.
Back in April, the company launched Birchbox Man, which is still in beta, but users can sign up to pay $20 a month for trial-sized samples of shave gel, deodorant, and other products from brands like Costume National, Kérastase, Billy Jealousy, and Kiehl’s.
Birchbox raised a $10.5 million Series A round from Accel Partners in August 2011, bringing its total raised to nearly $12 million.