Cosmetic surgery app GengMei raises $50 million led by Meitu

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Gengmei, a social networking app that connects up people with an interest in plastic surgery, announced that it secured $50 million D1 round led by photo editing app Meitu.

Founded in 2013, Gengmei (更美, or More Beautiful in Chinese) is a medical beauty social and service platform for beauty seekers to ask questions from plastic surgeons and acquire quality cosmetic surgery advice. The app now offers a wide range of services from community management, e-commerce and financing support for users with an interest in plastic surgery, cosmetic dental procedure, eyelid surgery, and more.

The new funds will be invested in research and development of AI technology, recuitment as well as market and expansion, according to a company statement.

In addition to the cash, Meitu’s investment would create synergy between the two companies, which are focusing on a similar youth and female dominated user base. Based on Meitu’s image technologies and big data, Gengmei is planning to establish a platform which can give recommendations on aesthetic tips as well as the best clinics and surgeons for plastic surgery procedures.

The special obsession with appearances among China’s post-90 and post-00 generation contributed greatly to the success of selfie apps like Meitu. As the growing youth group becomes a major force in the consumer market, they want to be physically attractive not only in the virtual world but also the real world, through plastic surgeries.

The cosmetics surgery industry will face a rapid growth over the next ten years. Gengmei aims to serve as a bridge to connect the online and offline world of plastic surgery industry, according to company founder Liu Di.

Deloitte’s 2017 report shows that the size of China’s cosmetic surgery industry is going to jump from RMB 87 billion in 2015 to RMB 176 billion in 2017. The figure is expected to reach RMB 464 billion by 2020 with an annual growth rate of 40%.

In recent years, cosmetic surgery hospitals in China have mushroomed, along with platforms to promote these hospitals. As a top player in the field, Gengmei has attracted lots of funding from prominent investors such as Sequoia Capital, Tencent, Fosun, CITIC Construction and CHJ Group. Another cosmetic surgery app, Beijing-based SoYoung, received Series C funding from Tencent.