How I Built a $130M Company With A product Stuck in the ’50s

How’s everybody doing today? All right, awesome. Okay, so as you see the title of this is very compelling. How I built a company and raised $130 million with a product that was stuck in the ’50s. So I suspect that some of you here color your hair. Am I right about that? Let me hear some applause if you do. This is usually where the women lean in and the guys who are like, “What is this woman talking about?” Okay, so traditional hair color.

So what I thought I do today is frame out sort of two things for you. Tell you the Madison Reed‘s story as an entrepreneur, hopefully there’ll be some takeaways that are useful. Also I was a venture capitalist in full disclosure I hugged James on the way out because I was one of the silly ones that didn’t invest. So as a VC there are the ones that got away and I’m going to weave that into the story and then tell you a little bit about raising money and what do VCs look for. Hopefully that will be helpful.

All right, so here’s part of the story. This is what boxes and advertising of hair color has historically looked like. Obviously very dated, not very current. Madison Reed is all about disrupting hair color. And I’ll go on to talk a little bit about how big this market is, which is, it’s huge. It’s $15 billion a year just in the US and it’s a global market. And obviously what folks were just talking about is I don’t have to teach people to color their hair. They do that every six weeks. So there’s repetition that’s built into the behavior. I’ll just let you take in what the mission is and our tagline is confident is the new beautiful. So we believe we’re the fabulous future of hair color. So let’s get into that. So a little bit about a background about me.

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