With so many people getting botox and filler treatments to their faces these days (or are they, during the pandemic?), it’s probably no wonder that venture capital has decided to look at the space. In the same way that the small and scattered market of spectacle/optometrist shops were disrupted by startups like Warby Parker, so the extremely variable experience of back-street cosmetic clinics are ripe for targeting.
Step in SISU, a chain of cosmetic clinics created by a serial tech entrepreneur who will apply tech startup methodology to this relatively untapped world.
SISU has now raised a $5.5 million Series A led by Greycroft and Bullpen Capital. Mana Ventures and the Gaingels Syndicate also participated in the round, alongside angel investors, including Liam Casey, founder and CEO of PCH, and Dan and Linda Kiely, the co-founders of Voxpro.
The funds will be used to go into the U.S. cosmetic clinics market and standardize “facial feature” pricing for things like lips, chin, under-eye, cheeks and brow. It will also offer treatments such as anti-wrinkle injections, dermal and facial fillers, laser and teeth whitening. There is even going to be a “face as a service.” — so that would be FaaS.
According to SISU, botox consumers are charged per unit, and often sold the maximum number of units, regardless of the results. SISU will set a price for what you want done and that’s it. A website will have “instant online evaluations,” and digital bookings.
The company will launch an e-commerce platform in the U.S. and 20 medical-retail clinics are planned for the East Coast. It already has eight now in Ireland.
Dubbed by its founders as the “One Medical for aesthetic treatments,” SISU is led by Dr. James Cotter, Dr. Brian Cotter and Irish entrepreneur Pat Phelan, who previously made his name in the telecoms market. Phelan founded both Trustev, which exited to TransUnion in 2015 for $44 million, and Cubic Telecom, which exited in 2012.
They are tapping into a big market. The “medical aesthetics” market is projected to reach $14.5 billion by 2023, according to some estimates.