Product sampling startup Sampler acquires Abeo to deepen footprint in beauty industry

Marie Chevrier
Abeo has worked with beauty brands like Sephora, Glossier, Chanel.

Sampler, which provides a product sampling platform for a variety of consumer packaged goods (CPG), has acquired beauty industry digital sampling agency Abeo.

Abeo was founded in 2019 by Arcade Beauty, a United States (US) firm that offers sampling solutions for the beauty and wellness businesses. As part of Abeo’s acquisition, Arcade Beauty will be receiving a minority stake in Sampler.

“The beauty industry was an early adopter of digital product sampling, and we have continued to see innovation … pop up in the category in recent years.”

According to Toronto-based Sampler, acquiring Abeo will help advance the former’s expertise in the beauty category and accelerate its expansion into Europe as well as the US, where Abeo currently has offices.

Additionally, both Sampler and Arcade Beauty have entered a commercial partnership agreement that will allow for brands to partner with the two companies to design end-to-end tools for promotional campaigns.

Created in 2013 by Marie Chevrier, Sampler works with CPG companies to create and manage product sampling programs meant to generate engagements like consumer trials and online reviews. Its platform is available in 23 countries and has worked with over 1,000 brands across different sectors including food, vitamins, as well as beauty and wellness, its customers include companies like L’Oréal, NYX, La Roche-Posay, Dove, Kiehl’s.

“The beauty industry was an early adopter of digital product sampling, and we have continued to see innovation, new use cases, and opportunities pop up in the category in recent years,” said Chevrier.

RELATED: Sampler raises $3 million Series A to build CPG brands’ best hope to combat Amazon

Representing what appears to be Sampler’s first acquisition, Abeo is meant to deepen Sampler’s portfolio in the beauty industry. Abeo provides end-to-end sampling solutions, from house sample manufacturing to digital campaign activations. Specializing in the beauty sector, Abeo has worked with brands like Clarins, Clinique, Elf Cosmetics, Glossier, L’Oréal, and Shiseido.

Headquartered in New York, former Abeo owner Arcade Beauty claims to have over 30 tech-enabled products with 12 production sites worldwide. It has over 2,400 employees. Alongside other macroeconomic factors, Arcade Beauty has not been insulated from the liquidity crunch in the tech sector. In March, the company announced it concluded a recapitalization that it claims “extinguished a substantial amount of debt and received a new capital infusion.”

Arcade Beauty was initially formed in 2014 through the merger of two sample packaging businesses: Arcade Marketing and Bioplan. As part of the recapitalization, Arcade Beauty is now owned by a consortium of investment firms.

Through its acquisition, Abeo’s team will be joining Sampler. After selling Abeo to Sampler, Arcade Beauty said it will continue to focus on its core product innovation strategy, primarily supporting the beauty and wellness industry with its suite of sampling and retail solutions.

Sampler has raised $13 million in total funding to date, including a $4 million round in 2020. Its backers include BDC’s Women in Tech Fund, Standup Ventures, and MaRS IAF, among others.

Featured image courtesy Sampler.

Charlize Alcaraz

Charlize Alcaraz

Charlize Alcaraz is a journalism student at Toronto Metropolitan University and a staff writer for BetaKit. Follow her on Twitter @charlizealcaraz

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