The team behind YouBeauty.com believes that broccoli is beautiful, big names could mean big dollars, and that a women’s health site can succeed by relying on science.
Front and center on this new women’s health website are the “The You Docs” – TV star Dr. Mehmet Oz and wellness author Dr. Michael Roizen. Behind the scenes are investors like Cleveland Clinic (Roizen’s other employer) and Contour Venture Partners.
Youbeauty, which turned a week old on Friday, will start with a $3 million investment that was led by Contour. It will target women aged 25 to 55 and its backers think the site can differentiate itself from other women-focused, health and wellness websites through quiz-heavy content and the belief that the best way to achieve beauty is to live a healthy lifestyle.
“Instead of eating your broccoli because it’s good for you, eat your broccoli because it’ll make you beautiful,” said Steve Lindseth, the company’s Cleveland-based CEO. Lindseth founded technology company Axentis, which was sold to Wolters Kluwer for an undisclosed sum in 2009 and is a member of the advisory board of Cleveland Clinic Innovations, the health system’s technology transfer arm.
“Our job is to gather the best science and make it accessible and actionable to the average consumer,” Lindseth added. “The science of beauty is our differentiator.”
The “science of beauty” means links to research papers (one paper’s title, for example: “Genetic variations associated with red hair color and fear of dental pain, anxiety regarding dental care and avoidance of dental care.”). That’s coupled with quizzes on subjects ranging from happiness to “face satisfaction” to “close relationships.”
The site uses the data gathered from the quizzes to come up with an action plan for improving a woman’s beauty and health, which can be delivered in daily emails (Lindseth stressed quiz data isn’t shared with advertisers).
Having Dr. Oz – the guy who took some of Oprah’s vacated time slots – as part of the venture doesn’t hurt, either. Both Oz and Roizen curate the site’s content, which includes lots of articles from various experts on health and beauty topics. Hair expert Guido Paulau told Style that he’s allied himself with Youbeauty.com because “they’re trying to explain beauty to women in a way that’s very intelligent; there’s a psychological element to it, which kind of interests me.”
Contour co-founder Bob Greene said Youbeauty’s team attracted him. “I’ve worked with Steve Lindseth in prior investments and the opportunity to work with Dr. Roizen and Dr. Oz was also compelling,” Greene stated.
Lindseth claimed he doesn’t view any other sites as direct competitors. But perhaps the question of competitors depends on how you define “direct.” Everyone from Marie Claire to TotalBeauty to WebMD could claim a piece of the approach (and audience) YouBeauty seeks.
YouBeauty’s only revenue stream for the time being is advertising. The company has thus far signed two national advertisers: cosmetics company L’Oreal and supplement provider Nature’s Bounty, Lindseth said.
The company hopes to set up content-sharing partnerships with other beauty sites, and has already established one with Yahoo’s Shine site. YouBeauty is in discussions on similar arrangements with other outlets including AOL, Lindseth said.
Lindseth described Countour as the company’s lead investor. Countour is joined by Cleveland Clinic and other funds, including Cleveland-based Zapis Capital Group.
For now, YouBeauty’s No. 1 goal is simple: Grow traffic.
“Our objective is to get lots of consumers to come to the site and tell their friends,” Lindseth said.
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