Eyelash extensions have taken off in recent years — particularly in Asia — but the audience is only so broad. Getting extensions — semi-permanent fibers that are attached to one’s natural eyelashes — can require hundreds dollars and hours in the seat of a lash stylist. There’s always the risk, too, of irritation or worse. Little wonder that, even accounting for low-budget lashes that can be applied at home, the market stands at around $2 billion, which is too small a market to capture the attention of most venture capitalists.
Luum, a four-year-old, 15-person, Berkeley, Ca.-based robotics company, thinks it can change the math — and attract investment — by “exponentially” expanding the market, says its CEO, Philippe Sanchez, who has overseen large chain businesses, including as a managing director for Starbucks in France.
The way forward, he says, is through robotics, artificial intelligence, and machine learning, which Luum says it’s using to ultimately create a robot that that can apply lashes in 20 minutes and, if all goes as planned, will be widely available in beauty shops. More, because lash extensions need to be replaced every two to four weeks as the lashes fall, customers will come back …read more
Source: Tech Crunch