Chinese 15-minute haircut brand Xingkeduo has merged with Singapore-based medical center and aesthetic group Novena Global Lifecare in a US$350 million deal that will see the duo joining forces to bring medtech-based aesthetic and hairdressing solutions to customers in China.
The merged firm will provide Novena Global Lifecare with access to Xingkeduo’s internet technology and physical network of nearly 100 stores, which will be complemented by the former’s medical aesthetic expertise through its NOVU Aesthetics (NOVU) brand, said Novena Global Lifecare in a company statement released on Tuesday.
The two companies expect "an accelerated expansion" of brands in China by operating under a hybrid store format that offers medtech-based esthetic and hairdressing solutions driven by artificial intelligence (AI), according to the statement.
"Asia has become the capital of the world’s beauty industry, with China and Southeast Asia recording the fastest development and the most promising market for Asian beauty and medical care. China is a huge market and we believe we are well-positioned to seize opportunities especially in its highly fragmented aesthetic healthcare market," said Terence Loh, co-founder of Novena Global Lifecare, in the statement.
The merged firm will be named as "Novena Global Lifecare." It was established after Novena Global Lifecare closed US$20 million in a strategic investment from Chinese state-backed private equity firm Sinopharm Capital and China-focused investment platform Cedarlake Capital in June.
Founded in 2015, Xingkeduo offers 15-minute wash-and-cut services in nearly 100 stores in China’s first- and second-tier cities. The company combines hairdressing with online-to-offline concepts, where clients could order online, request queue reservations on mobile apps, and enjoy services in the shops without having to wait in line.
Xingkeduo is backed by a group of Chinese private equity and venture capital investors. The company raised RMB100 million (US$14.54 million) in a series B round of financing from investors including Shunwei Capital and CICC Pucheng Investment in October 2018.
The company also closed a series A+ round led by Shunwei Capital in 2016 and a series A round ley by Join-Hope in 2015. It also raised millions of U.S. dollars in an angel round from Innovation Works and Future Capital in 2015.