Today we are excited to announce our seed investment in ManiMe, a company that provides personalized and stylish nails without the chemicals or fuss of a salon. We led the round and were joined by Trinity Ventures, Techstars and NFX.
ManiMe’s solution is simple: changing your nails should be as easy as changing your shoes. Work shoes and clubbing shoes are very, very different -- and the same goes for nails!
ManiMe creates a unique 3D model of your nails based on a few quick pictures. Pick from a gallery of designs and the nails arrive in three days or less. After that, just peel and apply. Each nail -- semi-cured gel stickers -- is laser cut to fit your nail exactly. They’re cruelty free and have no harmful chemicals (“10 free”). Most customers wear for about 14 days but many wear for longer with no issues. Removing is as quick and easy as applying -- just peel off.
It’s particularly exciting because we’re in the middle of a nail revolution. Nails are massively popular on Instagram (more popular than pizza) and people love to share their latest nail art. Nail artists and manicurists to the stars have developed large followings. The market for nails reflects this enthusiasm.
Estimates suggest the global nail market will be $13 billion by 2024, growing at 5 percent annually (bigger than the men’s shaving market, for example). And yet, the industry hasn’t seen much innovation. The New York Times had an explosive series on the chemicals used in nail salons. Beyond that, traditional gel manicures are expensive ($30-100), time consuming (two hours +), harmful to nails (chemicals and lack of oxygen) and difficult to change. Alternatives exist but the quality falls short: press on nails are ill fitting and nail polish is just messy. Many of us love nails but hate the trouble they require.
The founders of ManiMe understand. Jooyeon Song, now CEO of ManiMe, was previously a consultant and loved nails/beauty services but with the demands of her job, struggled to find time to maintain her nails. While earning her MBA at Stanford, she met David Miro Llopis (her cofounder) and told him of her frustration. The two became obsessed with solving the problem, which led to ManiMe.
Curious? Shop here: www.manime.co.
There’s more to come. The company is planning to launch a subscription service and also create a marketplace for artists to monetize their designs. But the foundation will always be the same: making delightful and fun nails as easy as possible.