Black, female-led Upgrade Salon, Inc. closed $1.7M in seed funding in a round co-led by Mercury Fund and The The Artemis Fund.
Venture-backed, high-growth brand addresses pandemic-driven changes in consumer behavior and market demand for personalized, convenient hair and beauty solutions and flexible work options for stylists.
Upgrade’s seamless, digital process allows women to skip the salon, while accessing top stylists across the country; SaaS platform enables stylists to enhance their efficiency and expand their clientele.
HOUSTON, TX– May 17, 2021: Houston-based Upgrade Salon, Inc., a revolutionary, tech-enabled beauty brand, today announced the closing of $1.7 million in seed funding co-led by Mercury Fund and the The Artemis Fund, with additional investments from Next Coast Ventures. The seed investors are joining existing investor Stray Dog, a Founders Fund investment vehicle led by Anya Hayden.
Upgrade has now raised nearly $2M in venture capital funding since its founding in 2019.
Upgrade is leveraging funds from the seed round to launch personalized, tech-enabled hair and beauty solutions that empower women to skip the salon, access top stylists from across the country and have luxurious, custom-created looks, seamlessly delivered.
“I’m grateful to have closed an oversubscribed round during a global crisis that hit women especially hard,” said Britney Winters, Founder and CEO of Upgrade. “Our brand is dedicated to empowering women of every color with personalized solutions that save time, help them feel beautiful and confident, and enable self-expression. Everything we do and create is about making our customers’ lives easier.”
Seamless Technology Solutions for Women Who Want More
Upgrade’s platform enables consumers to shop high-quality wigs and extensions and engage a stylist in the marketplace to color and customize looks, which come ready to wear, based on the customer’s inspirational photo. Customers can also shop pre-styled wigs and a curated array of beauty products that offer ease, convenience, and style.
By leveraging Upgrade’s platform, stylists can supplement their income and expand their clientele, while working remotely and maintaining their independence and entrepreneurial nature. Upgrade provides stylists with tools and resources to operate more efficiently.
Investor Perspectives on $1.7M Seed Funding Round
“Britney is a talented entrepreneur with deep domain-expertise and unique insights into a multi-billion-dollar industry,” said Heath Butler, Managing Director at Mercury Fund. “We are excited to partner with her to execute the Upgrade vision of delivering extraordinary value to an underserved market of women and enhanced economic impact to the stylist community.”
“The Artemis Fund invests in the best female founders across the US including those innovators here in our hometown of Houston,” said Artemis General Partner Stephanie Campbell. “Britney Winters exemplifies the resourceful and tenacious founder we are seeking. She understands the problem of her large, fast-growing and underserved market, and her technology will empower more women to care for themselves, their families and their communities.”
Upgrade has launched a refreshed website and global marketplace for custom wigs, extensions and beauty products, with future flagship locations planned in select cities that provide an in-person experience for customers and workspaces for stylists.
Founder and CEO Britney Winters worked in various corporate roles prior to launching Upgrade, including Credit Suisse’s Real Estate Private Fund Group, the Investment Banking Group at Morgan Stanley, and Shell Oil Company, where she most recently led complex commercial deals for Deepwater oil & gas assets in the Gulf of Mexico.
For more information visit https://upgradeboutique.com.
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