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Essence Ventures Acquires Beautycon Out of Foreclosure

September 13, 2021
September 13, 2021

Beautycon Media Inc.'s assets have been acquired out of foreclosure by an affiliate of Essence Ventures.

WHO: Beautycon Media is positioned as the global community for content creators, celebrities, and fans, to come together to celebrate all things fashion, beauty, style, and lifestyle—the passion points of Gen Z and millennials. Meaningful connections for these communities are created through the brand’s Beautycon Festivals, Beautycon Box, and Beautycon Digital, with the goal of redefining beauty and challenging the status quo, while creating a "style" destination for all.

WHY: Rumors of financial problems and fundraising challenges have circulated since the last Beautycon festival in Los Angeles in August 2019. The troubles have led to layoffs, a civil suit filed in February by 3G Productions, suing Beautycon for nearly $300,000 in damages for breach of contract, and accusations of keeping its investors in the dark.

IN THEIR OWN WORDS: Richelieu Dennis, founder and chair of Essence Ventures, told WWD that Beautycon would continue to be an "experience business"—"whether virtual experiences, hybrid experiences"—with both local and global expansion to come.

"The pandemic has impacted the live experience space in multiple ways," Dennis said. "It has obviously hindered the ability for people to gather. It has also created a lot of energy and innovation around how people gather today. Whether it's virtual experiences, hybrid experiences, all of those will be a part of the experience business going forward. With the technologies that we've put in place, we'll be able to expound on the Beautycon ideals and values and continue upon the work that Beautycon has been doing these years.”

“As we move further into a new normal, there's tremendous opportunity to do these live and virtual experiences in a physical way that expands the reach that brings the inclusive nature of Beautycon to the globe, as well as localized," Dennis continued. "We will have local as well as global expansion.”


  • Beautycon Media Inc.'s assets have been acquired by an affiliate of Essence Ventures out of foreclosure.
  • Moj Mahdara, who became Beautycon's Chief Executive Officer after investing in the business in 2014, resigned from her position earlier this year.
  • Marina Curry will return to Beautycon, which she co-founded in 2011 with Jonathon Burford.
  • According to Crunchbase, BeautyCon raised $11 million in funding.
  • In September 2014, the business raised a $2 million seed round from Queensbridge Venture Partners, Maker Studios, Miroma, Ventures, Rachel Zoe, Third Wave Digital, Raptor Group, C Ventures, Adrian Cheng, and TYLT Ventures. In March 2017 the business closed a $9 million Series A from A+E Networks, Main Street Advisors, and Live Nation, BG Ventures (AOL's Venture Fund), Hearst Media, Superfly, MACRO, Third Wave Digital, Troy Carter, Heather Parry, Guy Oseary, James Lassiter, Peter Morton, Tyra Banks, Rachel Zoe, Fullscreen, Queensbridge Venture Partners, Gleam Futures, Storm Models, Bethany Mota, Creative Artists Agency, and more.
  • Essence Ventures' portfolio includes the Afropunk arts festival, and Essence Communications Inc., which operates Essence Festival, which began as a music festival in 1995.

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