The funding will help the cosmetic and personal care company to access European markets with new hygiene products.
When Nicolas Van Beek the founder and CEO of JNS LABS raised 250,000 Euros in March 2020, his ambition was to open a second factory in Africa or in the Middle East.
The aim was to manufacture health care and well-being products he could sell at the lowest possible prices on his local markets.
Launched in 2017, the Luxembourg-based company built its first plant in Uzbekistan in the same year, and started producing men’s cosmetics, air fresheners and professional aromatization sets for airports and companies.
Van Beek’s original business model was to cater to Central Asian local markets (Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan) at a price that does not exceed one euro.
When the Uzbek factory manufactured its 4 millionth unit three years later, the CEO decided to enter new markets in new continents, with the same vision to set-up local production and business activities in developing countries (See our article “Innovation, cross-national collaboration and the french touch: JNS LABS’ recipe for success“).
Then, the pandemic happened and it urged Van Beek to review his plans. As his plant was threatened with closure, after the government introduced the lockdown, the French-born CEO decided to pivot and add a new hygiene product-line (including hand gels/sprays and masks) to its portfolio.
“This was a huge opportunity for us: We immediately focused our R&D, certification and production activities on these products, in order to respond to urgent sanitary demand in Europe & Central Asia,” Nicolas Van Beek explained. “For that, we used this first funding to certify the products in Europe and procure the raw materials”.
Two business owners who specialize in finance and audit provided the funds. “Both were looking to diversify their investments and to be a part of the adventure,” Van Beek says. “They were very interested to see how a Luxembourg-based entrepreneur manages to develop markets in Central Asia & Europe with sustainable development goals”.
The 70-person Uzbek plant turned to manufacture the hygiene items, while still producing men’s cosmetics, air fresheners and perfumes.
But to export these in Europe and create an inventory, Van Beek needed another 250,000 Euros. The same investors provided the capital last July. Since then, JNS LABS markets its products across Belgium, France and Luxembourg and will add Germany soon.
Most products are designed and developed in Northern Paris, while the company’s HQ in Luxembourg manages other business activities such as intellectual property, marketing, financing and product distribution. The Uzbek plant employs 70 people.
JNS LABS’ idea goes back to 1997. At the time, Nicolas Van Beek was working at the French Embassy in Tashkent. The concept became real twenty years later, with the launch of the company in Luxembourg and its production facility in Uzbekistan.