Douglas Gan | Co-Founder
Vanitee | Singapore

Douglas Gan, Co-Founder, Vanitee

Gan is a school dropout who started his first business attempt at the age of four when he was still in kindergarten. He sold toy cars for $2 apiece and later, he was selling marbles, bubble gums, chewing gums, stickers, stamps and Dragon Ball Cards. Gan amassed a small fortune of $15,000 by 11. At 12, he started selling Magic: The Gathering Card Games and he made more than $20,000 throughout his secondary school education of 4 years. Gan's first actual business was incorporated by his mother. In an article in The New Paper, he is quoted as saying: "She became my admin assistant and my accountant. She was with me every step of the way."In 2008, Gan founded ShowNearby, a location based mobile application that won multiple awards in Asia. ShowNearby's private investors pulled out investing during the Financial crisis of 2007–2008. Within 2 weeks, Gan partner with Microsoft BizSpark to save hosting costs using Microsoft Azure. With no further investments, a Global Financial Crisis, bankruptcy seemed imminent, but Gan managed to turn the company around and got further funding from Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) in August 2009. Later, ShowNearby became a high-profile mobile app in Singapore with over 20,000 mobile users per day and the Top 3 Apps in Singapore on the Google Play. In 2010, ShowNearby was acquired by Global Yellow Pages. In 2012, Gan founded VanityTrove, a beauty sampling business. Gan led VanityTrove on an acquisition spree, acquiring 4 beauty sampling businesses in Southeast Asia and by August 2013, VanityTrove acquired Glamybox, a beauty sampling business in Vietnam In July 2013, Gan evolved the beauty sampling business to customizing data sales to beauty brands. By 2014, the beauty sampling business has failed. In an article in TechInAsia, Gan was quoted as saying "The key trigger occurred on the fourth month of our business, where we realized we could not build out a $100 million subscription commerce business due to the limited sampling supply."In 2015, Gan pivoted VanityTrove's beauty sampling business to Vanitee, a beauty and wellness marketplace. Within 4 months of launch, Vanitee raised $1.4 million from Luxasia Group and Robert Yap. In Dec 2015, Vanitee raised a further $2.1 million from Garena, Thai Express Founder Ivan Lee and iStyle Inc (TSE:3660). Vanitee is the Top 3 startups to look out for in 2016. In November 2015, Vanitee acquired Padang, a Korean Beauty Information App in Seoul and in May 2016 Vanitee acquired MeFitted, a Singapore based Beauty Directory.

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