Serial entrepreneur Ning Li founded skincare brand Typology in France and is now launching it in the UK even as the pandemic bites into consumer spending.
Typology joins cult beauty brands such as The Ordinary and The Inkey List in disrupting big, expensive brands with minimalist ingredients, beautiful packaging, and lower prices.
Li is the serial founder behind furniture site Made.com and home decor firm MyFab. Typology is backed by French billionaire Xavier Niel, among other investors.
Li told BI that international expansion during a pandemic makes sense because marketing is cheaper, and skincare sales are up from consumers under lockdown.
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Most founders are looking to hunker down during the pandemic, but serial founder Ning Li is busy expanding.
Li is the founder of Typology, a Paris-headquartered beauty brand that taps into the contemporary craze for ethical skincare for well-informed consumers.
Li previously cofounded and ran furniture site Made.com, and home decor company MyFab prior to that. Made.com has long been rumored to be on the brink of an IPO, while MyFab was partially sold for $4.3 million. He stepped down as Made.com’s CEO in 2016, and spent the next two years dabbling with different projects including, briefly, training as a chef.
He founded Typology in 2018 and, while a newcomer to beauty, can strong direct-to-consumer credentials.
The startup offers beautifully packaged skin serums, oils, and hair care products and is now live in the UK after initially focusing on France and Belgium.
Typology undercuts fancy $300 serums and creams
Typology’s sell is that all its products are vegan and cruelty-free; you can see the (minimalist) key ingredients on the label; and the beautiful bottles fit through your letterbox.
It all looks very trendy, with its perfume bottle-like flacons and clear labeling of key ingredient percentages. Anyone who has bought products from brands like The Inkey List or The Ordinary will recognize the aesthetic.
And as with the competition, the price is another key selling point.
Typology’s products look high-end without the high-end price tag. For example, a 15ml Typology bottle containing a 0.3% concentration of the anti-aging ingredient retinol costs £14.80 ($18). Browse through the website of cosmetics retailer Space NK however, and a similar 15ml bottle with an unspecified concentration of retinol costs up to £254 in the UK or $300 in the US.
Typology can afford to keep its prices low, Li said, because it currently only deals with consumers direct and has no partnerships with physical or online retailers who will take a slice of the sales.
Li says his goal is to demystify skincare. The entrepreneur is married to Roxane Varza, a former TechCrunch journalist and coding advocate who runs the biggest startup factory in Europe, France’s Station F. The two have a baby girl, and Li was introduced to the mystifying world of cosmetic ingredients when he tried to buy some moisturizing cream for her.
“I’m a bit of a control freak as a person,” he told Business Insider. “I’m also very skeptical … one day I was buying a cream …read more
Source:: Business Insider