BrainTrust Founders Studio, a platform dedicated to Black founders in the beauty and wellness sector, has announced the launch of the BrainTrust Fund. This proposed $25 million venture fund is set to invest exclusively in early-stage companies identified via BrainTrust Founders Studio, whose 120+ members collectively sold more than $100 million in products via 23,000 retail doors and online in the past year.
The fund’s goal is to address the ongoing imbalance in venture capital funding towards Black female entrepreneurs. Current reports indicate that less than 1% of venture capital investors are Black women, and under 1% of Black women founders are funded by the venture capital community.
General Partners Kendra Bracken-Ferguson and Lisa Stone comment: “We designed the BrainTrust Fund as a ‘blue ocean’ investment opportunity to capitalize on innovation by Black entrepreneurs in beauty and wellness, whom we expect to continue to outperform as leaders of culture and creativity. The BrainTrust Fund exists so that as the massive, multi-trillion-dollar beauty and wellness marketplace grows, Black founders, supported by Black funders and allies, may participate in creating and selling what shoppers want.”
The fund is led by a diverse team of women with significant experience in consumer operations and investment. They plan to invest across a range of beauty and wellness companies spanning over 20 sub-sectors, from fragrance to AI technology. Companies qualify for investment if they have at least one Black-identifying founder as a member of BrainTrust Founders Studio, demonstrate repeatable revenues of $1 million or more, and actively seek advice from investors.
The BrainTrust Fund’s accredited investor community is largely composed of individuals who identify as women (77%) and BIPOC (76%). These investors bring diverse experience from fields such as beauty, wellness, consumer-packaged goods, e-commerce, marketing, media, and startup growth.
The BrainTrust Fund’s initiative is a strategic move within the evolving beauty and wellness industry. By focusing on supporting Black founders, it aims to create a more representative and inclusive market.