Co-Founder and Co-CEO of SQIN
“The Beauty of Health”
Maria-Liisa Bruckert is about to sustainably change how people treat their skin. Nowadays, skincare is primarily defined by constantly changing trends, influencers and self-proclaimed experts on social media, and an ever-increasing flood of products. This completely disregards the fact that every skin is unique - and therefore must be treated uniquely. With the app SQIN, Maria Bruckert and her team offer a technology that is lowering the embarrassment of seeing a doctor and is equipping people with knowledge about their individual skin.
From a young age, Maria-Liisa Bruckert's passion for traveling the world emerged.
Unfortunately, all the traveling also took a toll on her skin. Different climate conditions, air humidity, stronger UV radiation and foreign food: although that is often underestimated, it all has an impact on our skin. Luckily, Maria always had support with her skin issues: her mother is a beautician.
Maria’s way led her from studying in Germany, Brazil and Taiwan to a job at Siemens. There she soon had the opportunity to work on the digitalization strategy and sustainable transformation. When she then became pregnant and went on parental leave, she quickly found herself lacking a challenge. By attending some cosmetic fairs with her mother, she soon figured out how much potential for digitalization there was in the industry. At the same time, she realized: a lot of people don't even know how to deal with their skin.
Alas, not everyone knows such a skin expert. The more places Maria saw and the more people she met, she realized how severe that problem is. People are unhappy, because they don’t feel good in their skin – literally.
Regarding skin care, most people solely focus on products, while actually many more things should be taken into consideration. Unique skin also requires uniquely personalized treatment. Therefore, Maria and her co-founder Martin Pentenrieder created SQIN – a unique AI based skin coaching app, supporting the users in terms of their skin health and well-being.
But this is not where the story started: From December 2019 on, the two founders tested their first idea within a lab. Initially, SQIN focused primarily on developing innovative e-commerce approaches in the beauty market, e.g. AR/VR try-ons. The first own app included a skin scan that connected the users with the right cosmetic products for them, based on ingredients. This led to very good recurring paying customer rates and more than 120,000 downloads by the end of 2020. Ultimately, SQIN even won the Google Play Best of 2020 Award and Maria was chosen as one of ten participants for the Google for Startups Women Founders program.
One of the key learnings from the Google for Startups program was to always challenge your own product. Through feedback from users, mentors and experts, the founders quickly realized that a holistic approach to skin health has much larger potential. Therefore, the decision was made to publish a whole new application. The entire company and also the team had to be reorganized. This required a strong change management, as well as a lot of energy and dedication from the founders.
With the incorporation of SQIN in February 2021 and the acquisition of new investors, the team successfully mastered the pivot. Finally, the new app was launched in June 2021.
Maria-Liisa Bruckert is more than happy about this progress: “I really believe that our app has a great social impact. SQIN will help many people around the world!”
More than 2 billion people worldwide are struggling with dermatological issues. At the same time, many of them have no access to dermatological care or have to deal with overburdened dermatologists. For this reason, over 70% of skin health issues are not at all or too late detected. Therefore, the app should be available in as many countries around the world as quickly as possible – while still growing sustainably. For this purpose, SQIN is attending various Market Discovery Programs, for example by Google for Startups or the German Accelerator.
By using the app's AI, the dermatological process can be extremely accelerated. In this way, more and more people can get help in the shortest possible time. This relieves the healthcare system immensely – not only through shorter treatment times, but above all through prophylaxis and early detection.
After the successful closing of two pre-seed rounds, the company is currently in the middle of seed funding. This will have a big impact on their progress in the market.
The founder has set herself clear milestones: “One year from now, we will have opened up more markets – especially in countries where the dermatological care situation is less developed. For example, in India there is only one dermatologist for every 33,000 people – and there are countries with a lot worse ratios!”
Reflecting on this moving journey and the big future plans, the entrepreneur has one particular advice for aspiring future leaders: “Of course, it is important to have a great product, but your network is just as important. Listen to people – to your target group – and cherish experiences people around you share. Reflect them and make the most out of it!” IEWL
Co-Founder and Co-CEO of SQIN
There are countless products and brands out there, how are you supposed to find the right ones? SQIN is not about marketing budgets or slogans, but only about you! Together with our community, we are at your side every day!