Parfumado raises €3.2 million to become the leading perfume and beauty sampling platform in Europe

Parfumado Group, an online platform for discovering perfumes & beauty, has raised €3.2 million in a pre-series A round. This addition increases the total investment amount raised by the company to €4.5 million. VC fund Borski Fund and Rabobank led the round, where existing shareholders (including Dragons’ Den investor Michel Perridon) will participate again. In addition, leading entrepreneurs, including Wulf van Alkemade (citizenM Hotels), support Parfumado’s mission by stepping in as angel investors in this round. The growth money will accelerate Parfumado’s international expansion, realise further strategic collaborations, and further the product and platform through innovation.

Founded in late 2017 by brother and sister Martijn (32) and Floor van Rooy (36), Parfumado is now one of the fastest-growing players in the online perfume & beauty sampling market. 

The Amsterdam-based company responds to the (once physical) beauty market’s shift to online. The COVID-driven digitisation spurt requires beauty brands and retailers to adopt new digital strategies to reach customers. Predictions indicate that by 2026, 50% of perfume purchases will be online, whereas, before COVID, this was only 15%.

Parfumado Group fits into this market shift by fulfilling the role of matchmaker between the brand and the consumer. For this, the group has two business models; a B2C subscription model for perfume (Parfumado) and a B2B targeted sampling platform for beauty (Rocket Campaigns). The company counts companies like L’Oréal, Rituals, LVMH and COTY among its partners. At this moment, most users of Parfumado Group are in the Netherlands and Belgium. 

For the next two years, Parfumado Group concentrates on becoming the European market leader. The scale-up currently serves three markets – the Netherlands, Belgium and the UK – and is planning to add two more markets in the near future. For now, the focus is on Germany and Denmark, but Sweden, Switzerland and Austria are also on the roadmap.

Besides expanding into other markets, the investment will help further innovate the platform and the product line. What distinguishes Parfumado Group from challengers in the beauty market is data. Each user creates their beauty profile, supplemented with review data (from the multiple sampled products), which produces a powerful resource. Parfumado Group’s database contains hundreds of thousands of profiles. The development of data-generating capacities and the further commercialisation of these capacities will be important areas of investment too. 

The Amsterdam-based company has an international team of around 40 employees and is looking to strengthen its team with ten vacancies, including programmers and marketers. Parfumado Group wants to grow further in the next two to three years and expects to increase its workforce alongside this growth. It is looking for programmers and marketers in particular. 

Quote from investors; Simone Brummelhuis, Partner at Borski Fund, said: “We are delighted to invest in Parfumado and its exceptional team led by Floor and Martijn. In a short period of time, Parfumado has grown an innovative business in the beauty tech sector. Its offerings of online customized products help reduce waste, which meets greater customer demand for impact-conscious businesses. As a data-driven business, the company is able to disrupt the industry and  attract a diverse set of talent. We are enthusiastic about Parfumado’s proven ability to address multiple market trends and are dedicated in supporting Floor, Martijn and Valentine as they continue to grow the company.”

Quote from the founders; “The transition from offline to online in the perfume category is moving fast: this speed means consumers are more comfortable discovering and buying products without being able to smell or try them in a shop first. For brands and retailers, this means they need a strong digital strategy to offer a rich experience to customers online as well. We see budgets at beauty corporates shifting to online, and we understand why – the future of perfume and beauty is online,” said Floor van Rooy, founder of Parfumado. “This investment shows the potential of online sampling, and we look forward to working with our investors, who in addition to capital also contribute their international network and expertise, to change the way we discover perfume and beauty.”

About the investors; Floor van Rooy: “There was an immediate connection with the team at Borski Fund  and Rabobank when we first met. Borski Fund finances tech companies that are, among other things, led by women. Rabobank is progressive in financing scale-ups, focusing on sustainable growth and long-term impact. As far as we are concerned, the relationship between investor and company should be based on trust and sharing the same values. We are all focused on sustainable growth and having a positive long-term impact: this includes the sustainable development of the company as well as economic growth. We also share the vision of the power of digitalisation for sustainable growth. We are excited to enter this new phase as a team with our investors!”