Storie App Aims to Become "Social Commerce", Providing Honest Review of Beauty Products
The platform has received seed funding through the Surge program, supported by Sequoia Capital and Alpha JWC Ventures
The use of social media for sales has been very common in this industry. There is a term used to refer to this concept, it's social commerce. In the past year, platforms with this concept are emerging, such as Woobiz and Chilibeli.
This is an issue that inspired several Alibaba Group UCWeb alumni consisting of Liu Feida, Rizky Maulana, and HE Yaoming to contribute to the challenges of the Indonesian beauty industry through the social commerce platform, Storie.
Regarding the potential of social commerce Rizky said, "We see that social media is driving the trend including the beauty industry. Therefore, Storie was founded by combining social media with e-commerce."
He said that Storie's basic idea was to invite Indonesian women to be more confident in embracing their true selves. Furthermore, a beauty app launched, offering honest reviews of makeup, skincare, and contemporary lifestyle.
In this application, users are offered honest reviews from beauty vloggers and/or the general public about makeup and skincare trends without having to fear getting "bullied" or being ridiculed by the audience. Storie wants to provide a safe place for users to express themselves and their passion in the beauty industry.
Beautytech in Indonesia
With a population of more than 130 million women, the Indonesian beauty industry is a market with many opportunities while at the same time requiring specific ways of entrance and to survive in this business. Previously, one of Indonesia's beautytech platforms had secured new funding. This practically shows hope of technology penetration in the beauty industry.
"Indonesia is a blue ocean market for the beauty industry, we see more accessible information through digital media and channels. It's easier for local and international products to enter the Indonesian market and form a very dynamic market where quality becomes crucial but not the only success factor for a product," Rizky explained.
In terms of strategy, Storie intend to capture the demand and pain points in today's society. One of them is inaccurate information and the lack of a community with a positive vibe. The company, entering one year old in May, has also launched an application for Android users with total downloads exceeding 500 thousand and around 100 thousand active users per day.
In terms of content curation, the company has dedicated two special teams, the QC (Quality Control) team and the content standardization team to set benchmarks and filter the contents on the platform. During the pandemic, there are many changes occurred in the business plan and monetization strategy, but the company tried to see this as a momentum to be able to innovate better.
In terms of monetization, Rizky revealed that the revenue is mostly comes from brand deals launching campaigns and products. "In the future, we will work with all brands to make their products available at Storie," Rizky added.
In the near future, Storie will also launch a new initiative on its platform to facilitate transactions in the application and perfect its social commerce concept.
In late 2019, the company was selected as one of three Indonesian startups to participate in the second batch of Sequoia Capital's accelerator program, Surge. Alpha JWC Ventures also participated in a seed round through this Surge program.
Entering the new normal, the company sees hope "As a dynamic company, as well as a society that is increasingly moving towards digital, the team believes there is always an opportunity to develop more.
"Covid-19 is quite inevitable and has changed how the world works also business and technology, and everything will lead to a digital platform, digitizing all lines of life. We build a company that is ready to transform to answer that challenge," Rizky concluded.
– Original article is in Indonesian, translated by Kristin Siagian