Inclusive e-commerce beauty brand thirteen lune, backed by Diddy, Gwyneth Paltrow, and more, has closed a $3 million seed round led by venture capital firm Fearless Fund.
“We are delighted to welcome thirteen lune into the Fearless Fund family,” says Arian Simone, President and Chief Executive Officer of Fearless Fund, according to Essence. “Nyakio has created a groundbreaking space to foster inclusivity in the beauty and wellness industries and we are excited to support the brand as they continue to scale over the next few years.”
As a Black woman founder, receiving funding does not come easy. In fact, only 93 Black women have received venture capital funding over $1 million as of December 2020. Nyakio Grieco — founder of thirteen lune — learned firsthand how difficult raising money can be as an entrepreneur. She was fortunate to collect funds from friends and family to debut her brand into the market. The new funds marks a hopeful step forward to create a new landscape for more Black women founders.
“As an entrepreneur for 20 years, it was very exciting to see how much the venture landscape has transformed from when I first started fundraising back in the early 2000s. Representation matters and seeing an increase of diverse fund managers in the market was extremely encouraging during our process,” Grieco told Essence. “Even though we have seen incredible progress, only 1.2% of venture capital is invested in Black women-founded businesses today, so there is still much work to be done. I am proud to be part of the change and grateful to be building this business with Fearless Fund.”
The beauty brand is proving to be quite successful, with a reported growth of 100% solely from online sales. The company aims to expand the market for Black and brown brands while encouraging and spotlighting the stories of creatives in the beauty sector.
Backing her call for inclusivity, thirteen lune has opened its doors to 100 brands — 90 percent of the brands are founded by Black, Indigenous, and People of Color. In addition, the remaining 10 percent are “ally brands.”
Fearless Fund’s latest investment marks a strong statement from the firm to invest in companies that not only have strong market value but are keeping inclusivity at the forefront of beauty. The financial backing will propel the expansion of thirteen lune’s private label line, refine the beauty brands’ supply chain, and elevate their executive team, Essence reports.
“Of our many successes in 2021, I am most excited about demonstrating to the industry you can be on the right side of the inclusive conversation AND build a highly scalable and profitable business at the same time,” says Patrick Herning, co-founder of thirteen lune.
On top of the new funding, thirteen lune has another feat to celebrate. According to TechCrunch, the newly launched beauty brand can also be found in JCPenny, with 10 stores already housing thirteen lune and 600 stores nationwide following suit by 2023.