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Birchbox Has Been Acquired by Health Company FemTec

MSA
ByMSAOct 31, 2021 | 44 comments

Birchbox
3.7 overall rating
661 Ratings | 192 Reviews

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.”

Birchbox ($15 per month) was one of the very first beauty subscription boxes—we’ve been reviewing it since 2012! Each month, subscribers get a new mix of 5 beauty samples, such as makeup, skincare, haircare, and fragrance items. Birchbox lets you choose whether you’d like a box of items picked just... read more.
MSA
MSA
At My Subscription Addiction, we believe in better living through subscriptions. We help readers discover new and exciting products and services that will help deliver the best version of their lives.

MSA
MSA
At My Subscription Addiction, we believe in better living through subscriptions. We help readers discover new and exciting products and services that will help deliver the best version of their lives.
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44 comments

Jennifer

I am completely annoyed with this. I do not want vitamins and peptides in my box, and I CERTAINLY won’t be giving them my personal health information. So gross. And so boring. I won’t be renewing in December.

CDG

The righteous thing for them to do, given that they’re changing the business into something else, would be to offer to buy out those current subscribers who don’t want to stay with it. But, the amount invested by subscribers was probably part of the valuation of the company when it was sold.

Sara

Oof. I was grandfathered in at the $10/ month rate. Just got an email that starting December 1st, my rate increases to $15. With so many unknowns (like am I getting a box of vitamins? A box with a health questionnaire?), I hit the cancel button so fast. If this new company is offering something that excites me, I can just resubscribe. I also find it odd that BB is still trying to lure new subscribers, the ads I’m seeing are stock images describing it as a beauty product box. Even though the company is saying they’re getting away from makeup & beauty products?

Annaz

I cashed in my points just in case. They still have working coupons for 15% off any order amount (first15), 20% off of 35$ or more (insider20), 10$ off a purchase or 50$ or more (itsyourbday) and also one for 25% off a purchase of 75$ or more (shop25). And don’t forget to add on the free sample pack if you’re spending over 35$!
I always love their sales around Christmas time so we will see what happens this year!

T

Google the founder.

Sherri

I ended up doing the same. I don’t trust the direction things are going, so I figured I should use my points while I had the chance. I ordered yesterday and just got a shipping notification this afternoon, so at least that process seems to be going ok.

MissBailey

Been a cotinuous member since May 2012. This will probably be the end. Not interested in personalized skincare which will come with higher prices.

Ginger

Okay…why does the Birchbox website have NOTHING up to show up what’s going on with the November box and it’s now November? I want to make sure we are still getting our box this month. The site hasn’t been functional in days.

MissBailey

I was charged for the November box. I’m guessing they are sending out boxes of whatever samples they have left.

Heather

I changed my credit card information to one that only has $10 available credit. Got an email from Birchbox this morning, saying it didn’t go through. I’m on a 12-month sub that ends in March. But I signed up for makeup & skincare, not wellness, supplements, & required skin tests from a healthcare startup.

Screw them. Let them sue me.

Carol

FemTec sounds like they ‘disrupted’ the sanitary napkin industry or something.

SBR

“ Later this year, FemTec Health will be announcing the company’s innovative consumer offering including the re-launch of Birchbox, shifting the focus from beauty product discovery to curated personalized skin and healthcare products utilizing the BiomeAI™ platform. FemTec Health currently has over 150 employees and is growing rapidly.”

Well…. Doesn’t that sound exciting for a “beauty box”🤣

Dea

MSA had a previous story about this that has now disappeared. I commented at the time and said “BB is dying… The new company is about artificial intelligence, not beauty items. They just want to collect information on people. Cash in your points, ladies!” (which I did the same day). The CEO responded to my comments and wrote the usual, “no, seriously, we are scientists, for real, and this is about beauty, not data collection.” Now that post and its comments are gone.

Melissa

Hi Dea,

You did not post that comment on this site. I saw your comment and interacted with it, but not here.

Sara

That’s so interesting, because they are literally telling folks focus will be on healthcare & wellness. From an article this week: “Later this year, FemTec Health will be announcing the company’s innovative consumer offering including the re-launch of Birchbox, shifting the focus from beauty product discovery to curated personalized skin and healthcare products utilizing the BiomeAI™ platform”.
Also not excited about a women’s focused health company with a male CEO. You can’t tell me they couldn’t have recruited a woman for that role (interim or not). I’ll give my membership another month, maybe I’ll be excited about what they have to offer. I did place a small order last night and cashed in my points, just to be safe.

Mary

This new partnership sounds so boring. This is a big NO for me. Thank god my subscription ends with the month of November! No one wants you to “revolutionize” anything. All we wanted was a box of well-known beauty brand samples…not your own samples. I’m out.

Tina

Wow this is bad, if they last 6 months I will be shocked.

Jody E

This sounds so “out there” for me. I don’t know what to think.

Sherri

“The company will also ask subscribers to share personal health data”

Nope, no, no, hard no. That information is between me and my doctors. I had an annual that ran out in September; I didn’t renew and am now so glad I made that decision. Was waiting for a sale to use up points, but I’m getting the sense I should just hurry up and use them.

Jennifer

This is what really rubbed me the wrong way. Hell to the no are they getting any more info from me. I’m glad mine was a gift subscription that ends in December.

Annie S.

What do you mean you don’t want to share your personal health data with virtual strangers? What could possibly go wrong? (sarcasm)

I hope that they give us a choice about opting out of this. I’m on a month to month basis with them (changed from a yearly subscription a few years ago when I noticed some changes that I didn’t like) so I have to figure out how to drop them. Some people bought a yearly subscription before the price went up- are they locked in to receiving this for the next year? It seems to me that Birchbox corporate should have known that the company was on shaky ground before giving subscribers a chance to ‘lock’ in a cheaper price before they raised it.

Sara

I’m an OG subscriber and could tell something was up. BB hasn’t been innovating, boxes feel repetitive & store is stale, offering few luxe or exciting brands. It’s also been months since they’ve had a sale. This Femtec situation is weird, I think they bought BB more for our names & data. I don’t want a personalized healthcare & vitamin subscription. They keep teasing a big reveal in November but I’m skeptical it’ll make me want to stay a subscriber. I’m thinking maybe I should cash in my points while they still have some products I can use. I also found the “women don’t know what products to use, when or how” statement really gross. Not getting off to a great start…

Florence Whitman

I cashed in my points a month or two ago for the reasons you listed. I was able to Google a working 20% off coupon to stretch my points out a little.

Penny

After seeing comments below about disappearing points, I decided to cash in my points on a kit that had been in my cart for awhile. Waiting for a sale or the swap for points option was not prudent since it’s now the first and my Birchbox app shows no options for November but I have been charged for a November box. I understand that they were pausing choices for November, but until this morning, my app showed the swap for points as an option, available to spend in the shop on the first. 🤷‍♀️

Alice

My points disappeared. I contacted BB, and they’re not responding.

Sara

I put an order in late last night & my points were still there. But, I did notice the site was not fully functional. I was trying to order one of the LE boxes, but couldn’t find any boxes or discovery kits & links were not functioning.

Norelle

Lucky you… all my points disappeared…

Alice

R.I.P., Birchbox…you were my first sub. I was an ACE and really enjoyed those perks and the boxes themselves. I decided not to renew my annual in September and I’m glad my intuition was on target. I’m a very discerning consumer and this takeover does not appeal to me in the least. They shall have none of my money.

Melissa

This is too close to Goop. I’m waiting for Gwyneth to jump out with her probably-patented Magic Yoni Egg

Sarah

Holy cow! This made me laugh more than I have in a long time. Shall we all start our monthly vaginal steaming?

Mandi

“FemTec is also developing their own personal care and wellness lines…” LOL Ya right, it’s probably just more alibaba “beauty brands” they can stuff in boxes for pennies on the dollar.

JoJoB

And I QUOTE from the article about this acquisition, “Women don’t know what to use, when and how,” says Kim Capone, chief science officer, who previously worked at Johnson & Johnson,”…
They also say they “can’t wait to get their hands on this information” in regards to customers health info. That’s creepy to say the least.

Good thing they are taking over so we will finally have someone to tell women how to function properly. I don’t know how we’ve managed this long. 🙄😂

Carey

Soo Soo glad I didnt bote on the last subscription sale! My opinion purely, BUT this is NOT what I subscribed to Birchbox for. I wanted good, name brand samples of makeup and skincare. End of story. I can go get customized vitamins or whatever “womens health” needs I have elswhere as I have always.

I find that alot of companies are going into their business plans with out considering one of the main tenents of business- If you are going to do something worth doing, do it well. This just sounds like a bunch of keywords thrown around to try to be the end all do all site.

Hope I am wrong, but we’ve seen boxes go downhill after major changes less than this. lol Nice that she was able to sell the company AND sell all her stocks, nice time to bail out of a market that is dwindling. Great timing. lol

Justine

I don’t like the idea of this at all. Firstly people aren’t going to want to give their health information. People want beauty samples. That has nothing to do with healthcare. I don’t think people will be too happy. I just bought a 6mo subscription in October so I still have 5 boxes left on my sub.

Heather

I signed up for a 12-month sub back in March. But when I heard about this healthcare startup company buying Birchbox, I changed my credit card number to one that only had a $10 available credit. It didn’t go through.😆

Let them try to sue me. I signed up for makeup & skincare, NOT supplements, wellness, & required skin tests.

Penny

Exactly! The healthcare information was what I found most odd. Are future boxes going to contain those annoyingly small vitamin samples, customized to our age? Cringe 😬

Isa

I have a bunch of points saved up from swapping my boxes for points. Should I use these soon? I was hoping there would be a sale soon so I was holding on to them.

Penny

I just went into my account settings and switched off the auto renew, and I’m an ACE who has been with them since 2016. I have certainly noticed the dwindling selection of curated monthly boxes lately, but the one they did offer was usually pretty good. Even the lack of choice for November is fine with me, due to supply chain issues, etc. Although they didn’t mention that, maybe I’m assuming. But this latest statement, where the company is headed just seems odd to me. I don’t get it, so I’ll finish out my last few boxes and can always resub later if it looks promising. I’ve been waiting for MSA to mention this news since I got my email last week and again, had to go to Reddit for sub box speculation first. That was sad.

Melissa J

Anyone else find it kind of messed up that the CEO of a company called Femtec is a man?

Melissa 2

Ummm, no, I am not at all bothered that their CEO is a man.

Snow

Hold it sisters. He’s an intermin CEO….only temporary.

Though the post states “Intrerim”

Marie

Amen…I was thinking the same

Jessica

Woah. I hope they still continue to do their discovery sets and limited edition boxes. They’re always so good!

Jessica

Woah. I hope they still continue to do their discovery sets and limited edition boxes. They’re always so good!

Our reviewers research, test, and recommend the best subscriptions and products independently; click to learn more about our editorial guidelines. We may receive commissions on purchases made through links on our site.