A beautiful £50K investment for Buckingham entrepreneur’s money-saving app

Entrepreneur Ben Barter from Leckhampsted, Buckingham, who created tech start-up, SKIN, along with business partner, Flinty Bane, has secured investment from BBC Dragons' Den star, Sara Davies, to help their skin-care and beauty price comparison app reach a global market.
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The two friends, who brought their money-saving concept to life during the first lockdown, appeared on the show on 21st March to secure backing for their tech innovation, designed to give consumers access to the very best deals in skincare, make-up, fragrance, hair care and grooming products.

The pitch resonated with Sara Davies, who jumped at the chance to back the business - which is connected with thousands of brands and the UK’s biggest beauty retailers - offering £50K for a 10% share of the company.

Ben Barter, founder of SKIN, comments: “When Sara made us an offer we were absolutely elated. It was clear that she understood our business and mission. As a target user, she could instantly recognise the joy and benefits our app will bring to beauty consumers.”

Ben and Flinty in the DenBen and Flinty in the Den
Ben and Flinty in the Den

Flinty Bane, co-founder, adds: “Entering the Den was unbelievably exciting and nerve-wracking. We do have plenty of experience pitching for investment - but presenting to a row of high-profile investors on TV is a totally different ball-game. I’ve watched Dragons’ Den since the early days and was delighted when Sara joined the show, bringing a refreshing professional slant.

“I’m over the moon that we’re going to be working alongside Sara to grow our business. I believe SKIN is going to revolutionise the way we shop for beauty - with Sara’s backing, there’s no stopping us”

Sara Davies concludes: “I love the simplicity of Flinty and Ben’s concept. Comparison sites and apps are the norm in so many other retail sectors, so why not beauty? I can’t wait to work with the duo to support and mentor them through the next exciting step, taking SKIN to consumers around the world.”

Flinty and Ben first met when they worked together in London creating global B2B networking events, and quickly realised that they were a great professional partnership.

Flinty and Ben celebrate with Sara DaviesFlinty and Ben celebrate with Sara Davies
Flinty and Ben celebrate with Sara Davies

When the lockdown was announced in 2020, it felt like the perfect opportunity to take the entrepreneurial leap. Flinty had been dreaming of developing the idea for SKIN for years, as something obvious she felt was missing for the consumer.

As a lifelong lover of beauty products, fascinated with the choices of her friends and family, Guernsey-raised Flinty’s idea for an app that would let her know when her favourite products were on sale, had been brewing for a number of years.

When she shared her idea with commercially-minded Ben, originally from Buckinghamshire, he immersed himself in learning about the beauty sector and seeing the size of the opportunity agreed she was onto something.

The team poured all of their energy into designing the app and raising the funds to create an app that would be intuitive, beautiful and easy to use - giving consumers a pleasurable, money-saving experience and retail partners a clear reason to collaborate.

Fast forward four years and the app features thousands of products, from independent producers to major brands, and retail partners, such as SpaceNK, Boots, Look Fantastic and Sephora, for users to place on their virtual ‘shelf’ for which they will receive real time alerts the minute genuine discounts and deals become available. SKIN delivers second-to-none transparency, value and choice in an increasingly busy marketplace

The growing global personal care and beauty market is projected to reach a value of £1,178bn by 2027, with people from all backgrounds and demographics continuing to invest in their beauty regimes despite tough economic times. SKIN exists to give everyone the confidence that they are purchasing their choice of products for the best possible price.

SKIN is available to download for free on the AppStore and GooglePlay.

Watch Flinty and Ben face the Dragons on BBC iPlayer.

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