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 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 lowest possible price on his local markets.

Launched in 2017, the Luxembourg-based company built its first plant in Uzbekistan the same year, and started producing men cosmetics, air fresheners and professional aromatization sets for airports and companies.

Van Beek’s original business model was to provide Central Asian local markets (in Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan) at a price that should not exceed one euro.

When the Uzbek factory manufactured its 4 millionth unit three years later, the CEO decided to enter new markets on new continents, with the same vision to set-up local production and business activities in developing countries.

Emergency pivot

Then the pandemic urged Van Beek to review asap 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 buy 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 part of the adventure, “Van Beek says. “They were much 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 cosmetics, air fresheners and perfumes.

But to export these in Europe and create an inventory, Van Beek needed another €250,000 fund. The same investors provided the capital last July. Since then, JNS LABS markets its products in Belgium, France and Luxembourg already, and soon in Germany.

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 persons.

JNS LABS’ idea goes back to 1997, at a time Nicolas Van Beek was working at the French Embassy in Uzbek capital Tashkent. The concept became real twenty years later, with the launch of the company in Luxembourg and its production facility in Uzbekistan.

Silicon Luxembourg, September 2020