LUUM

Early Stage

Stunning Lashes, Surprisingly Fast

Analytics

Raised to Date: Raised: $699,006

Aggregate Commitments $

Platform

StartEngine

Start Date

11/23/2021

Close Date

03/10/2022

Min. Goal

$10,000

Max. Goal

$1,069,999

Min. Investment

$251

Security Type

Equity - Common

Funding Type

RegCF

Series

Seed

Price Per Share

$0.66

Pre-Money Valuation

$23,216,971

Rolling Commitments $

Status
Funded
Reporting Date

03/31/2022

Days Remaining
Funded
% of Min. Goal

6,990%

% of Max. Goal

65%

Likelihood of Max
Funded
Avg. Daily Raise

$6,533

Momentum
Funded
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Location

Oakland, California

Industry

Beauty & Personal Care

Tech Sector

AutomationTech

Distribution Model

B2B2C

Margin

Medium

Capital Intensity

High

Business Type

High Growth

LUUM, with a valuation of $23.2 million, is raising funds on StartEngine. The company has developed a patented AI-based technology that will help beauty service providers to apply lash extensions in minutes. The technology will enable three times faster application of lash extensions compared to manual application. LUUM has already partnered with a top cosmetics brand and is in the prototype phase. Lynn Heublein, Nathan Harding, Joanne Chen, and Kurt Amundson founded LUUM in June 2017. The current crowdfunding campaign has a minimum target of $9,999.66 and a maximum target of $1,069,999.26. The campaign proceeds will be used to launch the lash application machines and lease them to partners.

Summary Profit and Loss Statement

Most Recent Year Prior Year

Revenue

$0

$0

COGS

$0

$0

Tax

$800

$1,054

 

 

Net Income

$-3,641,348

$-2,790,676

Summary Balance Sheet

Most Recent Year Prior Year

Cash

$2,478,413

$1,922,834

Accounts Receivable

$0

$0

Total Assets

$4,878,545

$4,227,273

Short-Term Debt

$613,669

$87,424

Long-Term Debt

$957,552

$750,000

Total Liabilities

$1,571,221

$837,424

Financials as of: 11/23/2021
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Ratings KingsCrowd Startup Rating Methodology Article

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Synopsis

Long, dark eyelashes have long been associated with beauty. The ancient Egyptians began adding volume to their eyelashes thousands of years ago, and history is littered with other examples of eyelash extensions and tinting. These days, eyelash extensions are increasing in popularity. Search data reveals that Americans are researching eyelash extensions more frequently, and it’s likely that the trend will continue. While some consumers seek do-it-yourself false eyelashes, others are turning to service providers that attach higher-quality eyelash extensions by hand. This process usually costs several hundred dollars and takes at least two hours. 

LUUM is seeking to revolutionize the eyelash extension industry. The company’s proprietary eyelash extension robot individually attaches eyelashes to customers’ eyelids. The robot is able to work much more quickly and consistently than a human lash artist. LUUM hopes to license its devices to salons and medical spas to generate recurring revenue from lash services. It also plans to operate its own lash salons in major markets. 

LUUM’s current StartEngine raise has been rated a Neutral Deal by the KingsCrowd investment team.

Price

LUUM is offering equity at a $23.2 million valuation. This price is simply too high for LUUM’s lack of traction thus far. To be fair, the company has developed working prototypes of eyelash extension robots, patented them, and is conducting revenue-generating tests out of a branded lash salon in Oakland. However, LUUM didn’t generate any revenue through 2020 and saw a massive net loss of more than $3.6 million last year. A $23.2 million valuation is also far above average when compared to other early stage startups raising capital online. Without more proof of adoption in terms of revenue, it’s too early for LUUM to be valued at more than $20 million.

Market

It’s difficult to determine an exact size for the lash extension market when it comes to services, as most market estimates include both services and false eyelash products available in retail stores. However, it is clear that the eyelash extension market is relatively small. The full market (including do-it-yourself false lashes) totalled just $1.36 billion worldwide in 2020. The market is expected to witness decent growth at a 6.95% yearly growth rate over the next seven years. However, it is still only expected to be worth $2.31 billion worldwide by 2028. 

The $1.36 billion lash extension market represents the global market, and it seems reasonable to assume that around half of it  comes from false eyelash products. Thus, LUUM’s actual addressable market for lash extension services in the US is much smaller than $1.36 billion. Even if LUUM can acquire sizable market share given the dramatically disruptive nature of its robot, maximum theoretical revenues will be much lower than those of other types of startups.

Team

LUUM was founded by a qualified, multidisciplinary team of four executives. The company is led by CEO Nathan Harding. Harding is a roboticist and business leader who spent nine years at the helm of Ekso Bionics, which develops wearable bionic suits. The company went public during Harding’s time as CEO and raised more than $100 million over the course of his tenure. Harding is an extremely qualified CEO with a great deal of management experience, specifically within the field of robotics. 

LUUM’s founding team also includes CMO and Head of Product Rachel Gold. Gold holds a bachelor’s degree from Harvard and has more than two decades of experience as a marketer and brand strategist. Most recently, Gold was a vice president (VP) of strategy at digital advertising agency Elephant. LUUM’s final full-time co-founder is VP of Engineering Kurt Amundson. Amundson holds a PhD in mechanical engineering from UC Berkeley and spent 10 years collaborating with Harding at Ekso Bionics. LUUM’s fourth co-founder is Lynn Heublein, who does not work on LUUM full-time. She is also the founder and CEO of SkinSpirit, a nationwide medical spa chain that is the leading reseller of Botox. 

This team of four co-founders is extremely well-rounded and experienced. Harding’s management capabilities, Gold’s marketing skills, Amundson’s robotics experience, and Heublien’s deep knowledge of the medical spa industry all contribute directly to LUUM’s growth and goals. This team has built-in competitive advantages as it brings its eyelash extension product to market.

Differentiators

LUUM offers a truly disruptive product in the eyelash extension industry. The company’s competition is a fragmented market of individual lash extension artists, cosmetic salons, and medical spas. All of these competitors offer a similarly expensive and time-consuming eyelash extension service. The customer experience with LUUM’s robots is dramatically improved, as evidenced already with positive testimonials from LUUM testing. 

LUUM’s robots offer clear differentiation, and they’re also patented. There don’t seem to be any other companies creating lash extension robots. Even if they did, they’d have a difficult time creating a competitive product given LUUM’s head start, proprietary designs, and the founding team’s deep expertise. LUUM stands apart from both existing offerings and feasible near-term competition.

Performance

LUUM’s performance is mixed. On the one hand, the company has invested heavily in developing a proprietary eyelash extension robot. This project has been successful: the robot functions and is patented. Moreover, LUUM has launched revenue-generating tests out of its branded salon in Oakland, California. Testimonials from these tests are positive, and LUUM has used them to generate positive press in outlets like Forbes and PopSugar. It seems as though LUUM has taken all of the right steps to bring its product to market in the near future. 

On the other hand, it’s simply too soon to know for sure whether LUUM has the power to take off as a replacement for human lash artists. The company only offers financial statements through 2020 and hasn’t yet generated any revenue through that point. While testing in 2021 has apparently generated revenue, LUUM doesn’t offer any details on that progress. Plus, LUUM has burned a great deal of cash so far. The company saw a net loss of almost $2.8 million in 2019 and more than $3.6 million in 2020. LUUM must generate major revenue quickly to turn these numbers around or the business will become unsustainable.

Risks

LUUM is a high-risk investment for several reasons. First, the company relies on a disruptive, high-tech product that hasn’t yet been brought to market. Though LUUM robots have been tested at a small scale with positive results, it’s not clear whether the robots are ready for nationwide rollout. Finances are also a concern. LUUM is burning a great deal of cash, with a net loss of more than $3.6 million in 2020 and zero revenue. The company clearly takes a lot of time and funding to produce results, which could keep driving its valuation higher without clear evidence of product-market fit. 

Bearish Outlook

LUUM has clearly built a disruptive product that offers obvious advantages over the typical method of eyelash extensions done by hand. However, it’s risky that the company has spent a great deal of time and money on a high-tech robot in a relatively niche industry. The global market for eyelash extensions was only valued at a little more than $1 billion in 2020. Most of that spend goes toward inexpensive, do-it-yourself false eyelashes. There might not be enough consumers interested in a full eyelash extension service to justify the capital-intensive technology that LUUM is introducing. The company is spending millions of dollars a year to develop a product that may not generate very much market value, and investors are paying for it with a high valuation that isn’t backed up by revenue performance. 

In addition, there are still many major unknowns as LUUM prepares for a larger product launch. It remains unclear whether salons and spas are interested in replacing in-person lash artists or whether customers are comfortable with a large robot (not regulated by the FDA) conducting operations so close to their eyes. Taking all of these risks together, it’s just too soon to know for sure whether an investment in LUUM will pay out. 

Bullish Outlook

LUUM’s eyelash extension robot is a revolutionary advancement for an industry composed solely of individual lash artists performing expensive, time-consuming procedures. LUUM offers compelling reasoning that its machines were developed with medical-grade precision and have built-in safety features that eliminate risk. LUUM robots can apply eyelash extensions in a quarter of the time that lash artists take and may be even faster over time. 

All of these benefits have been proven in LUUM’s revenue-generating tests at its branded salon in Oakland, CA. These tests demonstrate that LUUM robots are actually viable. In fact, customers give positive reviews of their experience with LUUM, and testimonials from influencers have helped LUUM build a nascent brand (with press mentions in PopSugar and others). 

In addition, LUUM’s founding team brings experience in robotics, business management, marketing, and even medical spas (one of LUUM’s target client types). With this strong team and all of LUUM’s disruptive competitive advantages, the company could be well on its way toward revolutionizing cosmetic services. 

Executive Summary

LUUM produces high-tech robots that apply eyelash extensions. These robots can attach long-lasting false eyelashes four times faster than human lash artists. LUUM was founded by a very strong team that includes a PhD-holding roboticist, a former public company CEO, and an Ivy League marketing talent. Armed with this team and validation from revenue-generating tests of its robots, LUUM is nearing a first-mover go-to-market launch that could make major waves in the eyelash extensions industry. 

On the other hand, the eyelash extensions industry isn’t large enough for this wave to make a huge splash. Eyelash extension services are still relatively niche. It might take a long time — and a lot more capital — for LUUM to scale to the point that its high valuation is justified. LUUM didn’t generate any revenue through 2020. The company hasn’t shared any data on revenue for 2021 (while tests this year generated revenue, that income doesn’t seem to have been notable enough to tout) and is burning millions of dollars a year. Therefore, LUUM has been rated a Neutral Deal. 

For questions regarding the KingsCrowd analyst report or ratings for this company, please reach out to support@kingscrowd.com

Analysis written on December 10, 2021.

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LUUM on StartEngine 2021
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Platform: StartEngine
Security Type: Equity - Common
Valuation: $23,216,971

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