Serena Williams Backs Black Women-Owned Startup Providing Customized Wigs Through AI

Serena Williams Backs Black Women-Owned Startup Providing Customized Wigs Through AI

Serena Williams is a trailblazer in more ways than one. This time she’s backing a venture aimed at using artificial intelligence to provide beauty consumers with customized wigs.

Parfait is a new wig customization platform aimed at disrupting the industry by being the first to use facial recognition and artificial intelligence to provide buyers with customizable wig products. The company raised $5 million in funding spearheaded by Upfront Ventures and Serena Ventures, according to reports.

“Parfait’s mission to leverage Al to solve core issues for both the tech industry and communities of color is something we, at Serena Ventures, have believed in since the beginning,” Serena Williams said in a statement.

“She went on to say, “It’s been inspiring to witness their incredible achievements so far, and we’re proud to invest in this next phase of Parfait’s growth.”

Founded by former Target and Amazon executive Isoken Igbinedion, the first seed of funding will help increase Parfait’s production and improve its supply chain to enter new markets across the globe. Through the improved facial recognition Parfait uses, the tech-based beauty brand aims to make the wig industry more inclusive to meet the hair goals of beauty consumers from all backgrounds.

“It’s widely understood that facial recognition systems perform less well for women and people of color,” Igbinedion said.

“Training models used in facial recognition technology are largely unbalanced, often relying on training datasets that are similar in makeup, and do not represent the visual composition of faces worldwide. This often results in poor performance for users who do not fit into that dataset, often represented by white faces and male features.”

Williams shared her excitement for the new investment in an Instagram Story post, as captured by Essentially Sports. With Parfait aligning with Williams’ principles for her VC firm, the new company is on the road to success with the full support from one of the greatest athletes and Black female investors of all time.