Coral is a company that wants to "simplify the space for personal care through intelligent automation". For that, they raised $ 4.3 million. Your first goal? A fully automatic machine for painting your nails. Push a finger in and wait a few seconds. They have a completely lacquered and dried nail. In our discussions, the team described the idea several times as a "Keurig coffee machine, but for nails".
The company is just beginning. You have a working machine (see picture above), but you are pretty sure that it is a prototype.
As such, they are still pretty quiet about details and refuse to say much about how it actually works. They told me it was painting one finger at a time. It took about 10 minutes to get from the bare nails to all the painted and dried fingers. In order to shorten the drying time and at the same time to ensure permanent painting, Coral's own nail polish is required. So don't expect that you can open a bottle of nail polish and fill it in. The Keurig comparison, which the user can buy individually or receive by subscription, is particularly suitable. Under the hood is a camera and some proprietary computer vision algorithms that allow the machine to paint the nail accurately without the user having to manually clean it afterwards.
The price is still under lock and key – more precisely not yet specified. While Coral co-founder Ramya Venkateswaran tells me that she expects it to be a "premium device," they haven't set an exact price yet.
While we have seen all types of nail polishers over the years (including those that master all types of wild art, such as those we saw earlier at CES), Coral says that this is the only system that it works without the user having to first prime his nails with a primer or clear coat. Here you only need a bare fingernail.
The Coral team currently consists of eight employees – primarily mechanical, chemical and software engineers. Both co-founders now have a background in hardware. Venkateswaran previously worked as a product strategy manager at Dolby, where she helped launch the Dolby Conference Phone. Its co-founder, Bradley Leong, raised around $ 800,000 at Kickstarter to deliver Brydge (one of the earliest models for a laptop-style iPad keyboard) before becoming a partner in the seed capital fund Tandem Capital. It was there during an industrial hardware research, he tells me, when he "found the innovation on which this machine is based".
Vankateswaran tells me that the team has raised $ 4.3 million from CrossLink Capital, Root Ventures, Tandem Capital, and Y Combinator . The company is part of Y Combinator's ongoing Winter 2020 class, so I would expect to learn more about it as the demo day of this batch approaches in March of next year.
And what's next? You will be working to turn the prototype into a consumer ready device and plan to launch a small beta program (for which you can sign up here) in the next few months.