Beauty subscription service Birchbox has been acquired by FemTec Health, a health and beauty sciences company "using technology and data to transform the total healthcare experience for women." Femtec, a Texas-based startup, has also acquired Mira AI and social marketing platform Liquid Grids.
Later this year, FemTec plans to relaunch Birchbox and focus on personalized, curated skin and healthcare products in addition to beauty. "Our first acquisitions within women's health and beauty are key to our mission to revolutionize the women's healthcare and beauty industry," says Femtec Executive Chairman and Interim CEO Dr. Kimon Angelides. He adds, "women deserve a comprehensive, all encompassing model designed specifically for them."
"The idea is to bring your healthcare that's currently very fragmented — for example, fertility, menopause, sexual wellness offerings, exist amongst a number of different brands — the idea is to bring it together in a very clear, cohesive manner, so that a woman can come to one place and find the solutions to her needs," FemTec Chief Scientific Officer Kim Capone says. "And bring these solutions, or at least some of them, into this beauty space where they're relevant and cross- pollinate if you will, for women to understand beauty and the health aspects of beauty."
What about Birchbox founder and CEO Katia Beauchamp? She will no longer be CEO but has moved into a strategic adviser position and will be selling the remainder of her stake in the company. "I have always believed in the power of women as a community, and I believe this is a natural step in the evolution of Birchbox," she says. "FemTec's vision for the future of women's healthcare was inspirational to me and I could see the opportunity for the thousands of women in the Birchbox community to extend beyond consumer beauty products to a more holistic health and wellness offering."
"We're not trying to leave beauty at all, but we're trying to reimagine the potential of thinking about beauty," Beauchamp says. "We want there to be a sense that this is about efficacy. This is about really improving your health and your wellness."
For Birchbox members there will be more options; Beauchamp suggests that will include things like ingestible and topical beauty. FemTec is also developing their own personal care and wellness lines. The company will also ask subscribers to share personal health data so it can provide the most relevant personalized products.
The acquisition news follows news that Birchbox was pausing Sample Choice in November. The company also laid off about a quarter of its global staff last year (almost half at its corporate offices in New York). "I think that after the pandemic year, which was just a lot of changes and uncertainty, we definitely were excited by the fact that FemTec wasn't just a big vision, but it was going to be a really well-financed vision," Beauchamp says.
The FemTec acquisition may affect Birchbox subscribers sooner, rather than later. Birchbox's Instagram is teasing "something awesome" set to roll out in November. "Get ready for wellness + technology to join forces for your skin for a one-time experience. It’ll sell out quick, so keep your eyes peeled and be ready to pounce on the offer when it’s here."