VH Visionary Spotlight: Parfait
Visible Hands VH Visionary Spotlights are made to feature VH startups, both alumni and current, who are doing big things and making larger impacts in their prospective industries with tech.
Some say “beauty is pain,” however we like to say “beauty is an investment.”
Especially when the investment is in a startup like Parfait.
Parfait, the first company to use AI and facial recognition technology to provide custom wig products to consumers, announced April 11, 2022, a $5 million Seed round led by Upfront Ventures and Serena Ventures, with participation from Ulu Ventures, Unshackled Ventures, Contrary Capital, Visible Hands (!), TRUE Capital’s Culture Fund, Omar Johnson, Chamillionare, Tristan Walker, and Upland Workshop.
The funds will help Parfait increase production and automate its supply chain capabilities to reach new customers, scaling its innovative business model that will create a more personalized experience for wig wearers and the rapidly growing market.
Founded by four women with combined experience working at Amazon, Microsoft, Capital One, Google, IBM, Waymo and NASA, the company’s founders are applying their Wharton MBAs and MIT PhDs to build a proprietary algorithm that will revolutionize the way tech interacts with communities of color. By reshaping the entire end-to-end wig purchase they will be able to introduce advancements in automation and robotics to the hair wig and extension industry’s archaic supply chain.
Parfait is the first direct-to-consumer wig customization platform that uses computer vision to accurately detect head measurements and skin tone to provide truly tailored hair wigs and extensions, utilizing just four pictures. Customers select and customize the features that matter most, like texture length, and style, with opportunities to connect directly with a stylist to answer any questions, from what hairstyles will work best for your needs, to the best ways to install your wig and care for your hair.
This technology enhances the purchasing experience and product, seeding the foundation of the company’s mission to create beauty experiences, with technology, that finally recognizes and prioritizes all people.
“AI-enabled tech has been applied in numerous industries to better the purchase experience for consumers,” said Isoken Igbinedion, Parfait Co-Founder and CEO. “Our founders thought ‘Why couldn’t it be applied to the cumbersome, complex, inefficient, and costly market of wig buying?’”
Igbinedion added that Parfait is targeting the current hole in the beauty market that leaves out the purchasing power of Black women.
“Wig wearing is a huge part of our identity as Black women, our core customer, and is growing in adoption globally and across ethnic groups,” Igbinedion said. “If the tech isn’t there to support them, then ultimately, it’s the customer that loses. We want our customers to have a seamless tech experience that’s personalized and easy.”
Parfait is uniquely suited to solve two problems: AI biases in tech and the fragmented wig buying process for millions of Black and brown women. Millions of Black women waste exorbitant amounts of money and time on difficult-to-install hair products that don’t properly fit or match their skin tone. While the market for manufactured hair wigs is expected to grow to $13.3 billion by 2026 according to Arizton, innovations to the products and services have remained stagnant — until now.
Parfait is entering a full consumer launch coming out of beta with a waitlist of over 10,000 customers. They’re also rolling out their ‘Faces’ campaign aimed at elevating the wide spectrum of women who are gravitating to wig-wearing, whether for medical reasons, looking good for a night out, or to protect their natural hair. The campaign will be seen across social and Parfait’s digital channels.
Learn more about Parfait here.