By Raquel “Rocky” Harris, Forbes
What was once just a digital marketplace for hair extensions and weave bundles has expanded into an online database that offers a space for hair stylists to grow their businesses and consumers to find local salon services.
On June 26, Black-owned beauty and tech company Mayvenn announced it raised $40 million in a Series C funding round. Leading investments came from Chicago-based venture fund Cleveland Avenue, with participation from the Growth Equity business within Goldman Sachs Asset Management and a 16z.
With the latest round of funding, Mayvenn’s cofounder and CEO, Diishan Imira plans to expand its partnership with, creating more in-store Mayvenn Beauty Loungs within with Walmart nationwide.
Mayvenn allows consumers to search for and book hair stylists in their local area. Stylists are able to operate their businesses on the platform, including selling products and marketing their salon-based services. The company says it is now home to over 50,000 hair stylists across the country. “Mayvenn is a leading innovator in the beauty industry. The company has a thoughtful and profitable business strategy that also supports diversity, access and entrepreneurship,” said Dr. Mingu Lee, Managing Partner, Cleveland Avenue Tech Fund.
“In addition to innovating the beauty industry, Mayvenn is creating economic opportunity for independent stylists, who are primarily women of color,” says Hillel Moerman, managing director within Goldman Sachs Asset Management. “We believe that Mayvenn’s omnichannel approach, combined with its direct financial impact on local communities, embodies the goals of our One Million Black Women initiative, and we look forward to continuing to collaborate with the Mayvenn team as they scale their business,” referencing Goldman Sachs’ goal to improve the lives of one million Black women by 2030. The company says they have pledged $10 billion in direct investment capital and $100 million in philanthropic support to advance racial equity.
Imira, an Oakland native and HBCU graduate, says Mayvenn’s new funding will go toward expanding its partnership with Walmart. As part of its collaboration, Mayvenn has brought Mayvenn Beauty Lounges to five Walmart locations in Texas, bringing the business from online to in-store. At the lounges, consumers are able to buy wigs, hair extensions, digitally browse Mayvenn’s network of stylists and book salon services. Mayvenn is looking to bring its Beauty Lounges to 400 more Walmart locations.
“I couldn’t be more excited to partner with Walmart to bring Mayvenn’s brand and platform into the real world,” says Imira. “These Mayvenn Beauty Lounges are more than retail experiences – they drive digital bookings to local small salon businesses, bringing them added income, which is core to our mission. This expansion has the potential to elevate the beauty shopping experience for millions, while also scaling the financial impact to the community. The possibilities are endless from here.”
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