Rilispedia.com – LESSDO and other notable homegrown startups led by Taiwan Tech Arena (TTA) are now showcasing their innovative solutions at CES 2020.
To lower the threshold and the complexity of making handmade soaps and increase the availability to everyone with skin issues, LESSDO has released the world’s first intelligent Soap-o-Matic for the home. It allows the user to custom-make a personal handmade soap apt for skin-care purposes with a single press of a button, quick and hassle-free.
Since most soap sold in the market includes additives that cause skin-irritation and pollute the environment, people are beginning to turn to handmade soaps, which are easier on the skin. Handmade soaps have therefore quickly come into fashion and attracted large crowds of enthusiasts.
LESSDO CEO, Jay Lee, referencing a market research report, says that the US has the world’s largest soap market at an annual revenue of up to US$240 million, with Germany, Japan, France and China following behind. Seeing a bright future for handmade soaps, Jay Lee decided to found LESSDO with friends to engineer the world’s first smart household automatic soap-making machine.
Before doing so, LESSDO has done extensive market research to get a grasp of the entire market situation from the user end to sales to the business end. After meeting with soap makers and other players in the market, LESSDO learned that the process of hand-making soaps was all about experience and going with gut feeling.
The most disheartening part was definitely that market players had to repeat calculations of ingredient proportions, put large sums of money into equipment and jars, and go through 20 tedious and complicated stages in the soap-making process. They must even face the possible risk of failure that awaits them at the end. “There are nearly a million players in the soap-making business in Taiwan, but up to 70% of those players choose to quit in their first three years due to the many difficulties and issues mentioned,” says Lee.
Targeting the Global Market for Personalized Hygiene and Care Products
In order to solve these problems, LESSDO decided to use scientific data and an engineer’s angle to tackle each step separately and analyze them. “The two biggest difficulties in traditional soap-making are the ingredients and the mixing,” says Lee. Ingredient preparation is the most convoluted and time-consuming part of the whole soap-making process: Players have to buy various ingredients, not only estimating the quantities required for each but also doing complicated calculations on their proportions. Many players decide to give up due to the overly arduous process.
To address this problem, LESSDO has created various DIY packets containing fixed ingredient quantities according to each packet’s recipe. The Soap-o-Matic’s detection system will apply the mixing parameters best suited for each packet automatically, making soap crafting highly accessible to beginners. Additionally, packets may be combined to create up to 54 possible soaps, allowing consumers to easily make customized and personalized soaps according to the season, age group, skin condition, etc.
Returning to the issue of mixing, whether the mixture is evenly stirred will directly affect the quality of the end product. Most players in the past stirred mixtures with the help of handheld electric stir sticks used for mixing juices; the results were very often handmade soaps with oils separated or of low quality. LESSDO’s solution for this is a stirrer with a 10,000 rpm motor and a 304 stainless steel whisk head. This tool greatly reduces the 60 minutes stirring time needed (when done by hand) down to 10 minutes. Combining this with the Soap-o-Matic’s inherent patented smart technology offers a machine that can independently determine whether the mixture was evenly mixed, since the more even the mixture, the more complete the saponification process. This may further reduce the curing time from a couple of weeks (or months) down to a single week.
“Concerning products and services, our company has always strived to ‘do less, get more’,” says Lee. “True to this ideal, we have simplified the complicated 20-stage process and various equipment down to a single machine with a single button. The user doesn’t even have to go through the process of preparing ingredients anymore. All the user has to do is to add the packets numbered 1 to 4 in the right order.” This “Do Less” design concept was well received by the market. In May 2019, the company had accomplished the feat of reaching the funding goal on Zeczec, a Taiwanese crowdfunding platform, in only 26 minutes.
The company will move on to realize a wider variety of handmade soaps as it continues to develop packets for soaps used to wash the face, hair, clothes, or soaps specially made for the elderly, children, pets, etc. They will also be releasing a mobile app to allow users to download more recipe parameters onto the Soap-o-Matic through a Bluetooth connection.
To allow more consumers to get a feel of LESSDO’s handmade soaps, LESSDO travel soaps have been made available for purchase. The company is also providing customization services for all kinds of soaps to meet the needs of specific individuals and companies; businesses or stores may custom-order their very own exclusive gift soaps with their logo stamped onto them. For the future, Jay Lee expressed plans to work with Unilever and other giants in the hygiene, healthcare and perfume industries to break into the international scene in hopes of establishing itself as a global brand boasting highly-customized and personalized care products.