Mented Cosmetics

Black women can continue to give thanks because not only do we now have Fenty Beauty, but thereā€™s also Mented, which recently secured enough capital to continue making products specifically for women of color.

Mented co-founders Amanda Johnson and K.J. Miller, both 31, met at Harvard Business School and had been ā€œbootstrappingā€ Mented with grassroots marketing campaigns, word of mouth, social media and influencer campaigns.

The duo recently raised at least $1 million in their first round of fundraising, making them only the 15th and 16th African-American women ever to raise $1 million in venture capital, according to Forbes magazine.

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In January 2017, Mented (short for ā€œpigmentedā€) started taking preorders for its first products: vegan, nontoxic nude lipsticks formulated for women of color.

ā€œOur end goal is that women of color feel prioritized in the world of beauty,ā€ said Miller. ā€œWomen of color were used to being treated as an afterthought. Itā€™s not every day that youā€™re a priority.ā€

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The same could be said for raising money in business.

As data from investor Kathryn Finneyā€™s Project Diane shows, although black women are the fastest-growing group of entrepreneurs in the U.S., they receive only 0.2 percent of venture capital funding.

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The average startup founded by a black woman raises only $36,000 in VC funding, versus $1.3 million for the average failed startup led by a white man, Forbes reports.

As for Mented, its new round of cash will reportedly go toward new eye-makeup palettes, as well as personnel expansion and marketing.

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ā€œWe really think weā€™re onto something here at Mented,ā€ Johnson said. ā€œEven though women of color have a difficult time raising money, if thereā€™s an underserved market, investors attack it.ā€

Read more at Forbes.