SAUSALITO -- Beauty Noted, Inc., two years ago a college student's idea to harness social media to offer women personalized recommendations for cosmetics, has launched with a veteran executive and women's online media entrepreneur at the helm as well as $2.2 million in initial funding.
[caption id="attachment_92046" align="alignleft" width="320"] Kate Thorp[/caption]
After working with founder University of Southern California visual arts major Sarah Kortschak last year to refine the concept, Kate Thorp joined as president, CEO and board member earlier this year, the crowd-sourced beauty venture announced Tuesday.
Leading the seed-funding round was Kortschak Investments, managed by Ms. Kortschak's father and longtime high-tech venture backer Walter Kortschak. Also participating were IDG Ventures and Crosslink Capital. The money is said to be going toward launching the full version of the website and growing its membership.
Ms. Thorp's executive experience in consumer digital services and marketing will be instrumental, said David Silverman of Crosslink Capital in a statement.
[caption id="attachment_92064" align="alignright" width="300"] Sarah Kortschak (source: University of Southern California via YouTube)[/caption]
"The company's approach to social sharing, consumer reviews and commerce, along with its talented management team, will combine to capture a leadership position in the lucrative Beauty market," he said.
Ms. Thorp sat on a number of company boards, including those for LBi and Mobiles Republic, and sold her most recent company, San Francisco-based Real Girls Media Network, to Meredith Corp. in 2010. She started that hub for women-oriented blogs in 2006.
Before that, she was president of global advertising at AKQA and chairman and chief marketing officer of Carat Interactive, which acquired Lot21, an agency she founded and ran as CEO.
Ms. Thorp said the beauty industry is growing online.
"The opportunities are vast when it comes to beauty services, products, social sharing, and personalized recommendations," she said. "... It's a real pleasure to help women look and feel their best."
The recently released beta version of Beauty Noted (415-299-0641, www.beautynoted.com) leverages members' favorite products and individual preferences to provide personal product recommendations. It matches users against a group of women who share like characteristics and preferences. Then it factors in products you make a Note of delivering personalized recommendations unique to each woman. The site is designed to enable women to discover, share, and purchase the best products for them.
A full release of the service is planned for later this year.
Kortschak Investments invests in promising startup and growth-stage companies and is the principal investment vehicle for WMAS Management.