Rocket Internet’s Glossybox acquired by UK ecommerce platform player, THG

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Glossybox, a BirchBox clone launched by the Samwer brothers back in 2011 to deliver willing consumers a monthly subscription of beauty products, has been acquired by UK online retailer and ecommerce platform operator, The Hut Group (THG). Terms of the deal have not been disclosed.

Glossybox had raised $72 million from four investors over its six-year or so run, according to Crunchbase. Its majority shareholders were Rocket Internet and Kinnevik Online.

The number of beauty subscription boxes has grown in recent years, as more companies jumped on the product subscription bandwagon.

THG has several subscription box products of its own, such as its lookfantastic brand Beauty Box, although it also offers subscription box offerings beyond the beauty space, such as its MyGeekBox and PopInABox brands.

The company couches the Glossybox buy as a strategic move to further extend its international reach — with the latter active in 10 markets: the US, Canada, UK, Ireland, France, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Norway and Sweden.

Glossybox has not disclosed subscription numbers recently, but THG reckons there’s room to grow the brand by plugging it into its proprietary ecommerce platform-plus-marketing infrastructure.

THG, which operates more than 140 websites retailing premium, non-perishable FMCG products direct to consumers, claims “hundreds of millions” of users globally across its market footprint, shipping some 37 million items annually.   

It also said it intends to invest in Glossybox’s Berlin base — evolving it into a “tech-hub” for the Group.

Commenting on the acquisition in a statement, Matthew Moulding, founder and CEO of THG, said: “This is another significant investment for The Hut Group. In Glossybox, we have acquired a great brand, with a solid and engaged customer base that, once powered through our platform and marketing infrastructure, should be capable of further significant growth.”

While Caren Genthner-Kappesz, CEO of Glossybox, described THG as “the right strategic partner to drive our business forward”.

The press release doesn’t mention the word ‘brexit’ but a UK-based ecommerce player planning to invest in and beef up a tech hub that will be remaining within the European Union also looks like a nice hedge against potential skills shortages domestically. Hence THG lauding Berlin as “home to a highly tech-savvy community”.