Sephora-exclusive Adwoa Beauty hair care raises $4 million in funding

Sephora-exclusive hair-care model Adwoa Beauty has raised $4 million in its first funding spherical.
Founded in 2017, Adwoa Beauty has been self-funded till now. Announced on September 1, Pendulum, an funding and advising agency for founders and leaders of shade, invested the total quantity. Pendulum beforehand invested in Crown and Conquer, a artistic advert company, and Nickson, a furnishings rental startup. With the extra capital, Adwoa Beauty will make investments in new product improvement, enhance hiring, and lift model consciousness and retail help.

Adwoa Beauty has been a Sephora-exclusive model since Nov. 2019 and has 11 merchandise. In the primary half of 2022, the model expanded to further Sephora doorways, reaching a complete of 456 U.S. doorways. Adwoa Beauty can be in 98 Sephora Canada places. According to earlier Glossy reporting, roughly 65% of Adwoa Beauty’s gross sales are from Sephora, with the rest coming from its DTC e-commerce web site. Adwoa Beauty grew its Sephora gross sales 200% year-over-year in 2021.
“I believed lengthy and laborious about funding. It wasn’t an in a single day resolution,” stated Julian Addo, founder and CEO of Adwoa Beauty. “But finally, the trade must see a hit story so we will pave the way in which for different individuals who seem like me and wish to go down the identical path.”
On the Glossy Beauty podcast in March, Addo spoke concerning the model’s early days and the problem in securing exterior funding or a mortgage, regardless of the model incomes $1 million in gross sales in the primary 12 months of enterprise. According to McKinsey & Company, just one% of Black enterprise house owners get a financial institution mortgage in their first 12 months of enterprise, in contrast with 7% of white enterprise house owners. And The Washington Post discovered that just one% of founders who’ve raised enterprise capital are Black; in 2018, 81% of VC companies didn’t have a single Black investor.
Over the final two years, hair care, particularly curly hair care, has turn out to be a vivid gentle throughout the magnificence sector. According to the newest NPD information on second-quarter magnificence gross sales, hair continues to be the smallest but fastest-growing class in magnificence. In the second quarter, hair-care gross sales grew 24% year-over-year to $781 million. Innovation in the textured hair house has undoubtedly been a contributor. For instance, Sephora now retails younger indie manufacturers like Bread Beauty Supply. Brands like Drunk Elephant and Function of Beauty have additionally launched historically textured hair merchandise like co-washes to their assortments.
“Julian [Addo] and her crew at Adwoa Beauty have showcased sturdy progress as an initially self-funded, progressive model that has now turned shoppers into loyal devotees throughout the nation,” stated Ron Mackey, managing director at Pendulum. “With its differentiated and efficacious product providing and powerful shopper demand propelling the broader status textured hair-care class, Adwoa Beauty is well-positioned for continued enlargement.”
Addo stated she desires to construct model consciousness by means of influencers, user-generated content material, and sampling inside and past Sephora. Addo stated Adwoa Beauty would develop past curly and coily hair care into different hair varieties, in addition to physique care and perfume. Adwoa Beauty has a brand new hair-care product debuting in October for individuals with much less dense curls.
Adwoa Beauty has busy on the hiring entrance. It introduced on a director of product technique and innovation in August, and is at the moment hiring for a Sephora-dedicated govt, a social media and advertising and marketing supervisor, and a warehouse supervisor. Addo stated Adwoa Beauty has further plans with Sephora in 2023 however declined to share particulars.
“Hair care, in normal, will proceed to be the main focus, as there are further alternatives exterior of textured hair for innovation. We see lots of people have an interest in Adwoa Beauty however are involved that it may be too heavy,” stated Addo. “We don’t wish to focus extra on one aspect of the spectrum than the opposite; we wish to supply an assortment for everybody.”

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