Cornerstone participates in $1.2m seed round into Afrocenchix

D2C brand Afrocenchix secures funding to capitalise on the rapidly growing afro haircare market.

Afro haircare is a $42B market, and it’s growing fast. But many of the big players are out of touch with their customers.

Research shows 7 in 10 Black women don’t feel their needs are met on the high street, yet this same group spends 6x more on haircare and cosmetics than their white counterparts.

Despite the increasing need for these products, 78% of products for Afro haircontain toxic ingredients linked to cancer, fibroids and respiratory issues. Products targeted at Black women have also been shown to routinely use highly hazardous ingredients and a five year study showed connections between afro hair products and serious health concerns such as dermatitis, eye irritations and reproductive problems.

Co-Founders Rachael Twumasi-Corson and Joycelyn Mate suffered from alopecia, hair breakage, eczema and low confidence. In finding solutions to their own problems, they created Afrocenchix for people like them.

Named one of the “hottest Black-led startups in Europe”, this latest round has attracted participation from Cornerstone Partners alongside Google, Backed VC, Impact X and notable angels such as WeTransfer founder, Nalden.

Having sold over 65,000 bottles of safe, effective hair products, Afrocenchix will be using the funds to release 3 new products, and they’re hiring to expand their team. They’re also using their extensive data sets and content library to build tech for the Afrocenchix community, after the successful beta launch of M’xche, the Afrocenchix chatbot, something the founders have dreamt of since they mixed their first formulation at university in 2009.

Rachael Twumasi-Corson, Co-Founder of Afrocenchix commented:

“Afrocenchix exists to make the Health & Beauty space better for people and planet. From our first encounter, Cornerstone clearly understood the problem we’re solving and were already aware of our brand, which made a difference. We respect their commitment to our community and their focus on creating positive legacy.”

Rodney Appiah, Chairman of Cornerstone Partners added:

“Afrocenchix are an incredible brand and continue to be a trailblazer for the rapidly growing afro haircare market. Their community driven marketing approach, vertically integrated strategy, and high levels of engagement across different customer profiles really stood out for us. We are delighted to be working with Rachael and Joycelyn and look forward to supporting the business in the coming years.”

If you are a founder who is seeking investment or interested in learning more about Cornerstone Partners, please visit our website at www.cornerstonepartners.co.uk.

For more information, please contact:

Rodney Appiah, Chair of Cornerstone Partners, rodney@cornerstonepartners.co.uk

About Cornerstone Partners (“Cornerstone”)

Cornerstone Partners is the leading angel network for black and diverse founding teams in the UK. We focus our attention on this group because we believe their entrepreneurial talent is often overlooked, underestimated, and underrepresented in the traditional funding community.

We are a generalist angel syndicate providing investment of between £25k and £100k into post revenue businesses across the UK. We add value by leveraging the background and skillset of our fellow partners and external talent network. In addition to providing capital, Cornerstone runs an internship programme to widen access to angel investing, an annual scale up programme for post revenue businesses and commissions research to raise awareness of the benefits of diversity led investing.

Since inception, Cornerstone has supported 17 UK businesses and invested more than £1.1m in aggregate. Examples of our recent investments include Tectonic, Coordinate Sport, Hutch Logistics and Nudea.

Cornerstone Partners is the first Angel Investor Syndicate (Network) exclusively focused on investing in businesses owned and run by black and diverse founders.