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Estée Lauder Companies’ NIV Invests in KIKI World

Leveraging the forefront of web3 technology, its "consumer-centric model provides ELC with a valuable window into the future of beauty,” say NIV executives.

KIKI World—the “community commerce company” behind beauty products co-created by consumers—has announced its initial $7 million funding round with New Incubation Ventures (NIV), the early-stage investment and incubation arm of The Estée Lauder Companies, as an investor.

Venture capital fund a16z crypto is also part of the round; KIKI World participated in the VC’s 2023 Crypto Startup Accelerator program, which targets crypto and web3 startups.

KIKI World uses a proprietary platform and blockchain infrastructure to create what it calls a “new way for consumers to connect with each other and brands outside of the historical web2 channels and social media.” Audiences can co-create products, receive rewards for engagement, participate in product innovation, and connect with other fans, according to the brand.

The company has launched five physical product collections since May 2023, including a skincare line where customers can vote on the key ingredients and launch order; and Pretty Nail Graffiti, an NFC tag-enabled nail pen.

NIV reportedly invested as early as November 2022 during the company’s concept stages prior to launch, according to KIKI World.

“Consumers are at the heart of what we do at The Estée Lauder Companies,” said Shana Randhava, senior vice president, NIV, The Estée Lauder Companies (ELC). “That’s why we’re excited by the KIKI team’s vision of finding new ways to put the customer first. KIKI brand with their custom-built platform is leveraging the forefront of web3 tech to rethink the future of how consumers can co-create with brands and engage in new and relevant ways. This exploration of a new consumer-centric model provides ELC with a valuable window into the future of beauty.”

Other investors in this include consumer-tech funds Double Down, 2Punks Capital and Advancit, digital communities RedDao and OrangeDao, and the digital creator GMoney.

“Brand websites are valuable for not only selling but also educating, and KIKI’s innovative platform strategically takes brand.com capabilities a step further to leverage community and drive creativity as trends rapidly emerge. KIKI sees the internet and the communities it connects as the engine that creates, not merely consumes, the brands and products that will define the next generation, and is building tools to make this elevated customer experience a reality,” said Jana Bobosikova, Brendon Garner, and Ricky Chan, KIKI’s Co-Founders.

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