Emotional well-being brand Selfmade secured more than one million dollars in pre-seed funding, riding a boom in investments in mental health start-ups.
WHO: Led by former Michelle Obama staffer and former MAC Cosmetics product developer Stephanie Lee, Selfmade is a CPG and consumer tech brand focused on building products and resources that promote emotional well-being. Centered in community-powered healing for Gen Z women of color and non-binary individuals, Selfmade is the first Gen Z well-being brand instituting rituals of self-worth by creating emotionally intelligent personal care products. Developed with mental health experts of color, the product ecosystems and digital platform address the cycle of how mental health and emotional state affect skin and body function.
WHY: The announcement comes as funding for mental health technology ballooned to $1.5 billion in 2020, fueled by the COVID-19 pandemic.
IN THEIR OWN WORDS: "We're grateful for the early and enthusiastic support from these folks, who are experts and pioneers in their fields that recognize the impact that Selfmade can have in terms of democratizing access to conversations, tools, and community focused on mental health," said Selfmade CEO Stephanie Lee. "While way overdue, the groundswell in investment is inspiring and validates what we already knew—that approachable solutions for mental health care are lacking and it will be change makers like Selfmade who ultimately lead the way."
Angel investors in Selfmade, 60% of whom are BIPOC and 60% female, include leading executives, policymakers, investors, and entrepreneurs at the intersection of e-commerce, beauty, tech, and politics, invested $1 million in pre-seed funding:
- Michael Mente, CEO and Co-founder of Revolve
- Dr. Bob Bianchini, former VP of Research, Innovation and Engineering at Rodan + Fields, R&D executive at Merck and Johnson & Johnson
- Sarah Plimpton Liebowitz, CEO of Sustainable Botanicals Intl. & The Plimpton Family
- Michael Conti, General Manager of Solabia USA
- Calais Campbell, Defensive End for Baltimore Ravens, National Football League
- Nancy-Ann DeParle, former Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy to President Barack Obama and a chief architect of the Affordable Care Act
- Andrea Mokros, Chief Public Affairs Officer at a Minnesota-based health system; former Special Assistant to the President and Director of Strategic Planning for First Lady Michelle Obama; and VP at the 2018 Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee
- Deesha Dyer, Founder of Hook and Fasten, former White House Social Secretary and Harvard IOP Fellow
- Howli Pfeiffer, Director at RALLY, former Director of Message Planning for President Barack Obama
- Semonti Stephens, former Communications Manager at Square and Deputy Communications Director to First Lady Michelle Obama
- Ashwin Navin, CEO of Samba TV, Co-Founder BitTorrent, Investor in Klarna, Impossible Foods, and Cameo
- Tim Natividad, SVP at Samba TV, formerly at Roku, Amazon, Google
- Johnnie Yu, VC at Listen and Gen Z Angel Investor
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