Coral is a company that wants to "simplify the personal care space through smart automation," and they have raised $4.3 million to complete this work. Their first goal? A household automatic nail coating machine. Insert your finger, press it down, wait a few seconds, and you will get a fully painted and dry nail. In our conversation, the team referred to this idea more than once as "Keurig coffee machine, but for nails."
For the company, it is still too early. Although they have a powerful machine (as shown in the picture above), they are very clear that this is a prototype.
Therefore, they remain silent on the details and refuse to disclose how it actually works. They did tell me that it only paints one finger at a time, and it takes about 10 minutes from bare nails to painting and drying of all fingers. To speed up the drying time and ensure a long-lasting paint job, it needs Coral's proprietary nail polish-so don't expect to be able to open a bottle of nail polish and pour it in. Coral's nail polish will be packed in a pod (so Keurig is more suitable), and users can purchase it separately or through subscription. Under the hood is a camera and some proprietary computer vision algorithms that allow the machine to accurately draw nails without the need for the user to manually clean the nails afterwards.
Still confidential-or more precisely, not yet determined-is the price. Although Coral co-founder Ramya Venkateswaran told me that she wants it to be a "premium device", they have not yet determined the exact price.
Although we have seen a variety of nail art machines over the years (including machines that can perform all kinds of wild art, like the one we saw at CES earlier this year), Coral said that its The system is the only one that can work without operation. The user first coats the nail polish with a primer or varnish. Here you only need a bare nail.
Coral's team currently consists of eight people-mainly mechanical, chemical and software engineers. At the same time, the two co-founders have hardware backgrounds. Venkateswaran previously served as product strategy manager at Dolby, where she helped launch the Dolby conference phone. Her co-founder Bradley Leong raised approximately US$800,000 on Kickstarter in 2012 to ship Brydge (one of the first products to use a notebook-style iPad keyboard), and then became a partner of Tandem Capital, a seed stage venture fund. He told me that it was during some industrial hardware research there that he discovered "the innovation on which this machine is based."
Vankateswaran told me that the team has so far raised $4.3 million from CrossLink Capital, Root Ventures, Tandem Capital, and Y Combinator. The company is part of Y Combinator's ongoing 2020 winter course, so as these demo days approach in March next year, I hope to hear more about them.
What's next? They will work on transforming the prototype into a consumer-oriented device and plan to run a small Beta program in the next few months (you can sign up here.)