Josh Wood, hair colorist to the stars, gets $6.5M led by Index in its latest D2C bet

TechCrunch | 3/10/2019 | Staff
ziggy1023 (Posted by) Level 3
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In the age of Amazon, where up to 90 percent of all consumers use it to buy goods and Amazon is accounting for a rapidly-growing percentage of a consumer’s total retail spend (along with other giants like Walmart), direct-to-consumer brands — leveraging social media alongside tech-first apps — are emerging as sometimes surprising, but often effective, competition.

In one of the latest developments, London-based celebrity hair colorist Josh Wood — who has worked with the likes of David Bowie, PJ Harvey, Florence Welch, Saoirse Ronan and Elle Macpherson, as well as with fashion designers Miuccia Prada, Donatella Versace and Marc Jacobs (and, disclaimer, me: I tried out his products before agreeing to write this story) — has raised $6.5 million led by Index Ventures, with JamJar Investments and Venrex also participating, to launch his products into cyberspace with the aim of disrupting the at-home hair color industry.

At-home - Hair - Color - Market - Terms

At-home hair color is a huge market that has largely been untouched in terms of innovation. Some 80 percent of women over 25 color their hair, with 75 percent of those doing it at home, working out to an industry worth $20 billion annually.

As with other direct-to-consumer brands, tech is playing a role on multiple levels at Josh Wood, from how the product is developed through to how it will match with consumers, as well as how it is marketed.

Startups - Josh - Wood - Roots - Heh

But unlike other direct-to-consumer startups, Josh Wood actually put down roots (heh) first in a very non-tech environment.

If you live in London, you might already recognise the name and logo of Josh Wood. Apart from his star list of clients (and the name check he gets in the media for that work), he has already been running his hair coloring business at some scale.

Wood - Products - Selection - London - Buses

Wood’s products have been adorning a selection of London buses, in part to...
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