April 11, 2022

These Black Women Launched An AI-Powered Beauty Tech And Secured Backing From Serena Ventures

Parfait, an AI and facial recognition-powered beauty technology focused on providing custom wig products to consumers, announced today a $5 million Seed round led by Upfront Ventures and Serena Ventures.

Millions of Black women waste exorbitant amounts of money and time on difficult-to-install hair products that don’t properly fit or match their skin tone.

While the market for manufactured hair wigs is expected to grow to $13.3 billion by 2026 according to Arizton, innovations to the products and services remain stagnant—until now. 

According to its founders, Parfait is uniquely suited to solve two problems: AI biases in tech and the fragmented wig buying process for millions of Black and brown women.

Founded by four women with combined experience working at Amazon, Microsoft, Capital One, Google, IBM, Waymo and NASA, the company’s founders are applying their Wharton MBAs and MIT PhDs to build a proprietary algorithm that will revolutionize the way tech interacts with communities of color.

By reshaping the entire end-to-end wig purchase they will be able to introduce advancements in automation and robotics to the hair wig and extension industry’s archaic supply chain.

This technology reportedly enhances the purchasing experience and product, seeding the foundation of the company’s mission to create beautiful experiences, with technology, that finally recognizes and prioritizes all people.

The startup also had participation from Ulu Ventures, Unshackled Ventures, Contrary Capital, Visible Hands, TRUE Capital’s Culture Fund, Omar Johnson, Chamillionaire, Tristan Walker, and Upland Workshop. 

The funds will help Parfait increase production and automate its supply chain capabilities to reach new customers, scaling its innovative business model that will create a more personalized experience for wig wearers and the rapidly growing market. 

“AI enabled tech has been applied in numerous industries to better the purchase experience for consumers. Our founders thought why couldn’t it be applied to the cumbersome, complex, inefficient, and costly market of wig buying.” said Isoken Igbinedion, Parfait Co-Founder and CEO. 

“Wig wearing is a huge part of our identity as Black women, our core customer, and is growing in adoption globally and across ethnic groups. But if the tech isn’t there to support them then ultimately, it’s the customer that loses. We want our customers to have a seamless tech experience that’s personalized and easy.” 

“We believe Parfait will radically change an industry most investors overlook because they don’t understand the market,” says Kobie Fuller, Partner at Upfront Ventures. “History has shown us that great startups derive from founders with a unique insight on how to solve a deep seeded customer pain point, who also have an innovative technical knowledge to build a solution. This team has all the ingredients for success and we are excited to be part of their journey.”

Abbianca Makoni

Abbianca Makoni is a content executive and writer at POCIT! She has years of experience reporting on critical issues affecting diverse communities around the globe.