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French Beauty Start-Up WAAM Raises €5 Million

June 29, 2022
June 29, 2022
WAAM

The brand has raised its second round of funding, securing €5 million to fund growth.

WHO: Founded in 2016 by Dieynaba Ndoye, WAAM—an acronym for "We Are All Metis," referring to people of mixed ethnic heritage—is described as a vertical omnichannel brand with a DIY twist. The offering includes a range of products including vegetable oils and butters, flower waters, essential oils, clay, recipe kits, neutral skincare products, and natural active ingredients. Everything is sourced responsibly from around the world and certified organic and vegan. These can then be used alone or combined to make finished products based on more than 200 recipes created by WAAM. The brand recently launched a new product line called Magic Powders developed in its laboratory in Savigny-sur-Orge. These products are composed of 100% active ingredients of natural origin that turn into foam in contact with water. WAAM was born online, but has expanded to brick-and-mortar retail, including Di Beauty & Care in Belgium, and Monoprix in France.

WHY: The business will use the funding to accelerate product development, expanding its team and the brand's growth in France and abroad.

IN THEIR OWN WORDS: "It's a real innovation for the cosmetics sector, where water represents between 60 percent and 90 percent of the product components available on the market, and which makes it possible to offer packaging that's clearly reduced compared to that of conventional industry—thus reducing the tons of products transported," Arkéa Capital and Karot Capital said in a statement.

“We are proud to benefit from the support of We Positive Invest 2. It is a fund with which we share strong values ​​such as eco-responsibility and this strengthens us in our fight for more responsible, less polluting cosmetics with innovative ingredients and packaging," Dieynaba Ndoye, founder, WAAM Cosmetics, said.

DETAILS:

  • WAAM secured €5 million in new funding with new investor We Positive Invest 2, the impact fund launched by Arkéa Capital, leading the round alongside Karot Capital, a specialist in early-stage investments and current investor since 2020. Another new investor, Pierre Cazaux, joined the round. 
  • Ndoye, a graduate of France's prestigious HEC business school, founded Colorii in 2007, a concept store dedicated to ethnic products with five locations that were sold in 2013 to Provalliance Group, owner of Saint Algue and Jean Louis David. 
  • In February 2020, WAAM raised €1.5 million.
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