Black-Owned Beauty Startup Mayvenn Raises $23 Million - Black Enterprise
Black Enterprise Magazine September/October 2018 Issue

Mayvenn, a company that got its start selling quality virgin human hair & extensions trusted & recommended by over 100,000 stylists — with a super flexible return policy — just raised $23 million in a Series B funding round. The round was led by some of the African-American community’s biggest VC’s and influencers including Essence Ventures, an investment fund started by Sundial Brands founder Richelieu Dennis for black-owned businesses; with participation from 16z, Impact America Fund, and Cross Culture Ventures.

“Mayvenn has been well received by the investment community because it’s different,” CEO and founder Diishan Imira told Black Enterprise. “Investors saw that we had traction and an ownable stake of a large, fragmented market that has been highly overlooked with millions of dollars in buying power who wanted a better way to find and purchase hair. Additionally, as founders, we’re not only passionate about our mission, but have very unique and complementary skill sets to go out and solve these problems.”

Mayvenn

Mayvenn, Co-Founder and CEO, Diishan Imira (Image: Mayvenn)

They have grown rapidly over the five years they’ve been in business and the upward pacing continues. They are bringing key players, Dennis and Mike Smith, COO of Stitch Fix, to their board and Stephen Lasky, former CFO at Madison Reed joint, as CFO to help manage all financing and new growth.

With the newly raised funds, the company plans to invest in launching a revolutionary new service for its customers.  Mayvenn customers will soon be able to be matched with a top-tier Mayvenn Certified Stylist for their install, allowing the install to be absolutely free. The service is already available in select markets, and will roll out widely early next year. Additionally, the offerings will expand to ready-to-wear wig lines in 2019, and the company will focus on modifying the app to showcase new products and purchase features. The goal is to ultimately solidify themselves as a multifaceted lifestyle brand.

“Our plans for this new infusion of capital is to invest heavily in consumer and brand marketing,” continued Imira.  “We’ve been a very B2B driven company thus far, but demand has grown so much that we will be able to better serve our customers by having direct relationships with them, while also driving more business for our stylists. Our newest feature will be game-changing. In certain areas, and soon-to-be nationwide, Mayvenn customers will be able to buy hair directly from Mayvenn and we will pair them with a top-tier stylist in their area, who will do their hair free of charge, in an effort to provide the best possible end-to-end experience for our consumers.”

According to the company’s data, stylists on the program are already seeing increases of 40%-50% in the number of clients they are getting. To date, Mayvenn has paid over $20 million in commission to hairstylists across the country with a core mission to change the direction dollars flow in the beauty industry.

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Sequoia Blodgett

Sequoia Blodgett is a Reporter for Black Enterprise. She is also the founder of Commas, a consulting firm that gives entrepreneurs access to top tech and creative resources to help them grow their business.


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