Beauty subscription startup RubyBox pulls out of Media24

RubyBox site

Online beauty subscription service RubyBox is pulling out of the Media24, a division of Naspers, which is concentrating its resources on other high-growth ecommerce companies.

Founded by Sylvia Gruber and Margaux Knuppe in 2011, RubyBox received investment from the South African media giant’s digital division,, in 2013. According to the press release, the investment saw RubyBox double its revenue, mainly due to the strong marketing channels the beauty service got access to.

“I am grateful for the fantastic marketing support Media24 has provided and for the opportunity to work with such a talented team,” said Gruber. “While we are sad to lose the support, we are excited to further grow Rubybox in the online beauty market, to bring valuable digital solutions, coupled with trial boxes, to beauty brand houses and to connect and engage with a targeted audience.”

Geoff Cohen, head of, said: “Our partnership with Rubybox has been valuable and we have a strong belief in the management team and their ability to develop the platform from here.”

In terms of its ecommerce strategy, Naspers has been going through a bumpy ride in the last few years. Around this time last year, the the company shut down a bunch of niche South African ecommerce properties 5Rooms, Style 36, SAcamera and Kinderelo. Its biggest ecommerce brand Kalahari, on the other hand, merged with competing online shopping monolith Takealot early last year.

Read more: 5 valuable things you should know about SA’s ecommerce scene

Media24 chief executive Esmaré Weideman said that “Rubybox no longer fits [their] ecommerce portfolio”, explaining that it’s focusing on Spree, Efinty and On the Dot instead:

Spree, our award-winning online fashion, beauty and décor store which launched in 2013, is doing well. Our ecommerce division recently rolled out Efinity, an ecommerce fulfilment service aimed at small and medium-sized merchants. In addition, our distribution company On the Dot is a leading ecommerce warehousing and fulfilment company in South Africa. We are very excited about the prospects of these businesses.

Read more: Media24 launches Efinity, its ecommerce fulfilment service

Naspers is concentrating its resources in high-growth areas. At the eCommerce Confex Africa last month, Spree said that it’s grown revenue by a massive 300% in the last year. The media multinational is also an avid investor in Nigeria’s Konga and is backing online outlets as far away as Bangladesh, Brazil, Indonesia and Thailand.

Jacques Coetzee: Staff Reporter


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