Beauty start-up, Mayvenn, Inc. is making waves in the multi-billion dollar hair extension business. The startup announced it raised $23 million in a Series B funding round led by Essence Ventures, Andreessen Horowitz, Impact America Fund, and Cross Culture Ventures.
Mayvenn also raised $10 million in their Series A funding led by Horowitz.
The new round of funding is expanding Mayvenn’s products and services, including a ready to wear wig line, and a new feature that pays for users to get their hair done after buying extensions on the platform.
In the future, users will be able to match with Mayvenn Certified Stylists to get professional hair extension installations.
The Oakland, CA-based company was founded by Diishan Imira in 2013 with the aim of helping hairstylists sell products directly to their customers. “I’ve always been an out of the trunk hustler,” said Imira about getting his start in the business.
Imira started sourcing and importing products to sell on the internet and transitioned to selling hair extensions naturally. He started selling hair extensions out of the back of his car when he realized the bigger picture: Most Black salon owners are not taking advantage of the hair product market.
“I started to see something way bigger and more important,” Imira told Afrotech. “It struck me that there were billions and billions of dollars worth of products moving but none flowing to those businesses.”
Ninety-five percent of Black hair salons don’t sell any product, said Imira. Customers are purchasing hair extensions and wigs at local beauty supply stores and bringing them to the shop for install which is what Mayvenn aims to change.
“The money is flowing out of the community and the stylists are not capturing any of that value,” the founder said. “They’re just referring people to buy products elsewhere.”
Through Mayvenn, Imira is on a mission to empower hairstylists and put the money back into their pockets.
The company currently has as a network of over 50,000 stylists participating in the program, each of which receives between 20 and 25 percent commission for each bundle of hair sold on the platform. They report having paid over $20 million in commission to stylists across the country.
The startup recently added Mike Smith, COO of Stitch Fix, to their board as well.
Mayvenn founder Diishan Imira will be a speaker at this year’s Afrotech conference. Check out the schedule to see when he’ll be hitting the stage.