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Prim-U

Re-Inventing Beauty on-demand

South Africa
Market: Trade, Services, Artificial Intelligence, Mobile applications
Stage of the project: Operating business

Date of last change: 19.11.2022
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Idea

An online marketplace that connects beauty & wellness service providers, suppliers & brands to customers. 
Services are highly personalised & conveniently delivered. Products are sustainably sourced.

Current Status

- MVP is live and working
- 347 service providers registered
- Product SKUs added

Market

The beauty industry is worth $38 billion in MEA, with South Africa’s alone at $4.5 billion. This represents Prim-U’s Total Addressable Market (TAM) which has tripled over the last 30 years, thanks to the growing middle class in Africa with more customers willing to pay for what they’ve seen as trends in other countries.

A key driver of this market growth is the increasing number of online searches by people aged between 25 and 44, showing their uptake of online material and transactions. Another significant driver is the increasing mobile penetration rates in emerging markets.

A threat to this industry growth however is the high cost of data in the region as well as poor internet connectivity rates. The industry is currently seeing an increase in competitors in the online beauty services space, some of whom are currently raising significant sums of money from investors to grow. Prim-U will stay ahead in this space through its first-mover advantage as well as by fundraising so as to keep developing its platform
7370 businesses are employing these skills making 5.12% of the total 144 thousand growing employers in South Africa.
A McKenzie survey also revealed that this is one of the industries that was hard hit but will recover quickly post the COVID-19 pandemic.

Problem or Opportunity

Online shopping for sustainable beauty ingredients and services has hardly any personalisation, poor customer service and uses very little data and technology when offering products. We are solving problems for standardised offering, shopping hustle, trust issues and poor quality in the beauty and wellness industry.

Solution (product or service)

Prim-U is an online marketplace that connects beauty & wellness service providers, suppliers, and brands to customers. 
Differentiator;
We have a consignment business model and hold no stock.
Data insights are collected by building an AI product for the beauty industry.
B2B (SaaS) personalisation at scale, where we offer our technology to retailers/brands.

Competitors


Our competition is traditional salons where customers are expected to travel to them and sometimes wait to start the treatments and sometimes delay making payments. The Covid-19 pandemic is making it difficult for customers to trust these establishments.
Platforms from outside the continent are not passionate about building local businesses.
The other on-demand booking platforms like Dyme and GoBeauty are taking a high percentage (5-15% more) as commission and are not flexible in pricing and scheduling. Individuals managing their bookings have a challenge in getting bookings, methods of payments, as well as the lack of a sense of belonging to a community. We have access to a large number of salon owners, therapists, and hairdressers who want to work full-time and other occupations like makeup artists, salon managers, educators, and trainers who want to work part-time to supplement their income.

Advantages or differentiators

As opposed to other platforms, Prim-U partners with global brands, which enables it to grow its market share, providing the brands with industry insights and access to new customers in return. Additionally, the company takes the beauty experience directly and conveniently to its customers, with the service providers on Prim-U’s platform earning 5-10% more than the competition. Due to its unique position in the market, Prim-U can gather useful insights on market trends, thereby informing its operations and strategy.

Finance

Prim-U comprises a Service Offering model, a Product Offering model and a Subscriptions model for its subscription revenue line.

At scale, the company estimates growth of 6.62% annually for its products’ revenue line with a monthly churn rate of 6%. For the services revenue line, the company estimates a growth of 3 new clients per month, with an average lifespan per customer on the platform of 12 months. The growth of the subscription revenue line is estimated to be tied to the growth of the services revenue line through converting its customers into long-term subscribers.

Business model

B2B for products (margin)
B2C for services (% commission)
B2B2C for subscriptions

Money will be spent on

29% of the funds will be used to cover sales & marketing costs, 27% towards securing office space accommodating & training approximately 500 professional ‘primlancers’, and 44% towards working capital for the next 24 months.

We will also start building AI models for predictive scheduling and dynamic pricing as enhancements.

Offer for investor

Equity

Prim-U is raising $250,000 to get it to 100,040 purchasers and 5,000 transactions, which will generate $650,596 monthly recurring revenue, and a 41% Average Gross Margin.

Team or Management

Mentors & Advisors

Risks

The Covid-19 pandemic which can be dealt with as we have to find alternatives to leave with the virus by taking safe services and products to where the customer is.

Incubation/Acceleration programs accomplishment

1. Solution Space with the UCT GSB in partnership with MTN (2020)
2. Bon Billo with Startupbootcamp (2020)
3. UNDP Youth Entrepreneurship Action Hub (2020)
4. BMF Innovation Inventors Programme (2020)
5. FounderTribes (2020)
6. GSD Venture Labs (2021)
7. The Village Capital (2021)

Won the competition and other awards

1. Seedstars GIZ best female entrepreneur (2019)
2. Solution Space with the UCT GSB in partnership with MTN (2020)
3. Finalist in Women In Africa 54 (2020)
4. Top 20 Fem-In-Tech (2020)
5. Top 10 BMF Innovation Inventors Programme (2020)

Product Video

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Idea
Current Status
Market
Problem or Opportunity
Solution (product or service)
Competitors
Advantages or differentiators
Finance
Invested in previous rounds, $
Business model
Money will be spent on
Offer for investor
Team or Management
Mentors & Advisors
Lead investor
Risks
Incubation/Acceleration programs accomplishment
Won the competition and other awards
Invention/Patent
Photos
Product Video