“Empowering Beauty: Kiki World Secures $7M Investment from a16z through Revolutionary Web3 Implementation”

Kiki World, a beauty startup launched last year, wants consumers to co-create products and co-own the company with the help of web3 technology. Kiki co-founder Jana Bobosikova said she believes that being a loyal user of a brand in the Web 2.0 world could be a net negative experience. Kiki is flipping that model by allowing its community members to vote on the features they want before the beauty products are made. Although members’ product votes are recorded on Ethereum, Bobosikova said some participants don’t need to know they are taking action on blockchain. But, as Simpson pointed out, Kiki has plans to eventually expand beyond the world of beauty.

If you believe that the process of choosing a nail polish color or selecting the ingredients for your face cream is completely disconnected from the world of blockchain technology, think again.

Kiki World, a beauty startup that officially launched last year, is revolutionizing the industry by using web3 technology to allow consumers to co-create products and co-own the company.

“We wanted to give our community a sense of ownership and control over the products they use,” explains Jana Bobosikova, co-founder of Kiki World.

On Tuesday, the Los Angeles-based company announced that it had secured a $7 million seed round from reputable investors such as the Andreessen Horowitz crypto fund and The Estée Lauder Companies’ New Incubation Ventures, as well as OrangeDao and 2Punks Capital.

One of the main goals of Kiki World is to shift the traditional model of consumer loyalty in the Web 2.0 world, which often results in a negative experience for users. As Bobosikova points out, “You may have seen a lot of creators on TikTok recommend products to you, and you may have recommended them to your friends as well. But what do you get in return? Just more retargeted ads.”

Kiki World is changing this dynamic by allowing community members to vote on the features they want to see in upcoming beauty products. As a reward, voters earn points towards free products and receive digital tokens in the company.

“This is a new dynamic that has yet to be seen on the internet or in your bathroom,” says Bobosikova.

Another advantage of Kiki’s model is that it uses less capital and resources, as it avoids the issue of excess inventory that many cosmetics companies often face.

While product votes are recorded on Ethereum, Bobosikova assures that participants do not necessarily need to be aware that they are interacting with blockchain technology. Users can simply sign in with an email address and Kiki will create an on-chain account to store their votes indefinitely.

The decision to invest in Kiki came after the startup completed a 10-week crypto startup accelerator program with a16z. Partner Ariana Simpson explains, “Jana is a force of nature. She has a deep understanding of both the beauty industry and web3 technology, which is a unique combination that we don’t often see in founders coming from more traditional backgrounds.”

Before co-founding Kiki, Bobosikova served as CEO of Epic Future Labs, a product development and brand innovation agency.

Kiki is not the only company in the a16z portfolio that utilizes blockchain technology to reward customers. Last year, the firm led a $24 million Series A round for Blackbird Labs, a hospitality tech company that offers a loyalty program for diners at independent restaurants.

While Kiki currently offers five product collections, including a nail polish pen with the ability for consumers to vote on the next color to be manufactured, the company has plans to expand beyond the realm of beauty in the future.

However, as Simpson acknowledges, there are still challenges to overcome before this model can be applied to other industries. “We have faced significant challenges on the physical side of things,” explains Bobosikova. “But the concept of asking people what they want and giving it to them is simple. It’s just difficult to execute.”

So, while it may still be a while before we can vote on the latest jeans styles or purse sizes, Kiki World is paving the way for a more inclusive and community-driven approach to product creation.

Avatar photo
Kira Kim

Kira Kim is a science journalist with a background in biology and a passion for environmental issues. She is known for her clear and concise writing, as well as her ability to bring complex scientific concepts to life for a general audience.

Articles: 867

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *