Pitching customers a new all-inclusive service for buying and installing hair, Mayvenn is looking to significantly expand its haircare business and just raised $23 million in a new round of funding to do it.
The new financing was led by Essence Ventures — and it represents the first outside investment by the holding company owned by serial entrepreneur Richelieu Dennis.
A millionaire many times over, Dennis was the founder and chief executive of SunDial brands — a line of skin and haircare products which sold to Unilever for $240 million*what sources tell us was roughly $1 billion. He used that exit to create Essence Ventures with the acquisition of Essence magazine from Time Inc. and has now, with Mayvenn, is working to create a media and investment powerhouse.
Dennis joins a clutch of celebrity investors and venture capital firms in backing Mayvenn. Previous investors include Andreessen Horowitz, Cross Culture Ventures, Trinity Ventures along with a clutch of super famous athletes and music moguls like Serena Williams, Andre Iguodala, and Jimmy Iovine.
Dennis says the new capital infusion for Mayvenn is a testament to the vision of its founder and chief executive Diishan Imira.
“Diishan’s vision is very big,” Dennis said. “He’s building a platform to service a space and a consumer that has not been served and certainly not in this way.”
With the new cash in hand Mayvenn is going to market with a new value proposition for its network of stylists and their customers. Before, Mayvenn would sell hair direct to consumers and then provide those consumers with a marketplace of stylists that would install the hair.
That’s a costly proposition for customers who can spend as much as $250 for the hair and another $250 for the service.
Now, Mayvenn is going to make it that customers can buy the hair directly from the company, and Mayvenn will match that customer with a hair stylist who will install the hair. All for the cost of the hair itself.
“Customers will be able to buy hair and the installation service for probably 40% less than what they normally would have paid,” says Imira.