Orkid Cosmetics in talks with angel investors, eyes foreign markets

PETALING JAYA: Orkid Cosmetics plans to raise RM250,000-RM500,000 in its pre-seed round this year to scale up the one-year-old business, including bringing in more products and entering two to three new markets in India, the UK and the US.

Founder Raeesa Syahirah (pix) said it is in talks with a few angel investors to grow the business and is still exploring opportunities.

She said in the past one year, it tested the market to better understand its target market, bestselling products, and had accumulated the relevant data to further grow its business. About 80% of its sales are generated online, with the majority from Malaysia.

"Now that we're sure of our customers, we have a clear direction of where we're going. What we need to do now is scale it," she told SunBiz recently.

Orkid Cosmetics products are halal-certified by The Department of Islamic Development Malaysia, vegan (no animal by-products) and cruelty-free (no animal testing). Its products are made in Malaysia, with imported ingredients from Japan and Europe.

The brand, with its core matte-suede liquid lipsticks, has over 1,000 customers now and has made its way to Singapore, Bangladesh and the UAE through the online platform. It is also retailing in Play Up Advance in Malaysia and The Min List in Singapore. It sells about 500 lipsticks a month, with each lipstick retailing at RM45.

"We have a retention rate of 30%. We see more and more orders, especially now that we have wholesalers. We're not just focusing on B2C (business-to-consumer) but also B2B (business-to-consumer)," said Raeesa.

The 28-year-old started Orkid Cosmetics in Feb 14, 2017 with a capital of RM50,000, noting that the business is already profitable today. Raeesa said the idea for Orkid came as she was looking for another venture to go into, having had the experience in running three startups and securing investments worth over RM1 million.

"I noticed the availability of grants for halal products. I researched on the halal market and saw a gap in halal cosmetics for young millenials. I like the concept of halal, because a lot of people are looking for organic, vegan products.

"Halal is always at the back of my mind and I like beauty and wanted a product which has nice colours, safe, fun... and that's how I started Orkid," said Raeesa.

She said Orkid Cosmetics' target market is modern women aged 18-35 who are creative and conscious.

Moving forward, she said the cosmetic line wants to come out with more lipsticks, tints, lip balms and in the third quarter this year launch mascaras, eyeliners and eyeshadows.

"With the growing demand of halal, organic and conscious customers, we feel that there's a space for us to tap into and fill in the market gap," said Raeesa.