24. May 2016–
Beauty tutorials on Youtube are extremely popular. The videos have over a million clicks, where stars like Bibi, Daaruum or Dagi Bee give beauty advice. “Indian Summer Look”, “Beautiful braid hairstyles” or “My everyday makeup routine” are the videos. Often they last for several minutes, during which the Youtuber takes some time to start their video. It’s reasonably time-consuming, often arduous.
Anna Lisa Hülpüsch felt the tutorials on Youtube never addressed her totally and there her founder story began: “I wanted to get ready for a party, looking for good videos that explain me how to make smoky eyes”, she tells us at a meeting in Berlin. “But the videos that I have found were all not for me.” She asked her mother and friends, if it was the same for them. They all had the same problem as Anna.
Without further ado, the 27-year-old built an own app called Eve based on the cooking app Kitchen Stories. Anna had studied at WHU together with its founder Mengting Gao and was impressed by the success of the app. Hülpüsch also knows her co-founder Matthias Siegmund from WHU. Siegmund had studied in the year above her and then worked for the US startup Homejoy. After the end of Homejoy he was looking for an idea for a an own startup. Until Hülpüsch told him about Eve.
When asked about the concept of Eve, Siegmund must smile. “Well, I wouldn’t have come up with the idea myself but I found it extremely interesting,” he admits. “My sister was immediately impressed and that convinced me.” Last summer he and Hülpüsch finally began to develop their iOS app. At first only friends were allowed to test it. In December it finally arrived in Apple’s App Store. After Christmas, the founders began to advertise Eve. Even Apple discovered Eve, was enthusiastic and placed the app prominently as a recommendation in its store. The downloads skyrocketed.
In early March, the two founders raised their first financing round with a six-figure sum. Also on board: The Amorelie-founder Lea-Sophie Cramer and Sebastian Pollok through its subsidiary Starstrike Ventures, former StudiVZ CEO Michael Brehm, Oliver Samwer companion Max Finger, Sabine Fäth, founder of ScribersHub, – and of course the founders of Kitchen Stories, Verena Hubertz and Mengting Gao.
Meanwhile Eve counts 250,000 downloads. About 100,000 people use the app at least once a month according to the founder. That Eve is not for everyday use has been recognized. But before the weekend, when the users want to test new looks for a party, or on days off, the app is very much in use. “The usage increases already on Thursday and Friday – but Sunday evening sees the most use,” Siegmund summarizes. Because people have the most time.
Currently, Eve is kept very simple, the options limited to the bare minimum. There are videos, titled “Make-up for the office”, “how to make bigger lips” or “Jessica Alba hairstyle”. Soon more videos will be added, for example for nail care. The app looks structurally very similar to Kitchen Stories. The videos are arranged in a feed and can be marked with a heart symbol as favorite. Just as with the Berlin cooking app, there will be personal accounts in a few months. “In the long term we want to personalize Eve much more around the user accounts and then we can give individual advice and recommendations,” says Annalisa Hülpüsch.
The founders already have a fitting strategy in order to make money: in the future the products that are used by the models in the videos will come from partners and then can be acquired through a link in the app. Eve has already earned some money through cooperations with major and small beauty products manufacturers, such as Maybelline. For most products, which can be found in the app, there is still no partnership. But the users are already curious. “Many users click on the products and want to know where they can buy them,” says Hülpüsch. For the founders it is the best confirmation that their idea will succeed.
This article was originally published on Gründerszene.