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Venture Capital
FINANCE | Investment Firms & Funds
upfront.com

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Investments

415

Portfolio Exits

85

Funds

19

Partners & Customers

1

About Upfront Ventures

Upfront Ventures invests in Seed or Series A stage companies. Upfront Ventures likes to invest $500k - $1.5 million in Seed rounds, and $2 to 5 million in Series A rounds, reserving follow-on capital for future rounds of financing.

Upfront Ventures Headquarter Location

1314 7th Street

Santa Monica, California, 90401,

United States

650-843-5000

Predict your next investment

The CB Insights tech market intelligence platform analyzes millions of data points on venture capital, startups, patents , partnerships and news mentions to help you see tomorrow's opportunities, today.

Expert Collections containing Upfront Ventures

Expert Collections are analyst-curated lists that highlight the companies you need to know in the most important technology spaces.

Find Upfront Ventures in 5 Expert Collections, including Direct-To-Consumer Brands (Non-Food).

D

Direct-To-Consumer Brands (Non-Food)

37 items

Startups selling their own branded products directly to consumers via online/mobile channels, rather than relying on department stores or big online marketplaces.

R

Restaurant Tech

19 items

Hardware and software for restaurant management, bookings, staffing, mobile restaurant payments, inventory management, and more.

V

Vitamin & Supplement Startups

237 items

S

Synthetic Biology

382 items

F

Fitness Tech

227 items

We define fitness tech as companies leveraging software and technology to augment approaches to developing or maintaining physical fitness. Companies in this category develop tools and services including workout apps, wearables, and connected fitness equipment.

Upfront Ventures Web Traffic

Rank
Page Views per User (PVPU)
Page Views per Million (PVPM)
Reach per Million (RPM)
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Upfront Ventures Rank

Research containing Upfront Ventures

Get data-driven expert analysis from the CB Insights Intelligence Unit.

CB Insights Intelligence Analysts have mentioned Upfront Ventures in 2 CB Insights research briefs, most recently on Dec 9, 2021.

Latest Upfront Ventures News

AI-Driven Wig Customization Company Parfait Receives $5M In Funding

Apr 28, 2022

AI-Driven Wig Customization Company Parfait Receives $5M In Funding Parfait is gearing up to disrupt the wig category with $5 million in funding. The funding round was led by Upfront Ventures and Serena Ventures, backer of wig and hair extension company Mayvenn . Other participants include Ulu Ventures, Unshackled Ventures, Contrary Capital, Visible Hands, TRUE Capital’s Culture Fund, Omar Johnson, Chamillionare, Tristan Walker and Upland Workshop. The funding will enable Parfait, which asserts it’s the first wig company to incorporate artificial intelligence and facial recognition, to boost production, improve digital tools and automate supply chain capabilities with new technologies and equipment such as a lace ventilation machine that reduces the need for human labor and will facilitate customization at scale. Parfait manufactures its products in Dallas, and sources hair from China, Vietnam and the Philippines. “We believe Parfait will radically change an industry most investors overlook because they don’t understand the market,” says Upfront Ventures partner Kobie Fuller in a statement. “History has shown us that great startups derive from founders with a unique insight on how to solve a deep-seated customer pain point who also have an innovative technical knowledge to build a solution. This team has all the ingredients for success, and we are excited to be part of their journey.” Parfait was very particular about the the people it reached out to for investment. “We targeted people who either understood in some parallel the experience of managing textured hair, regardless of age, race or background or who understood the marginalized community that we were really trying to solve for,” says Parfait CEO Isoken Igbinedion, who founded the company with her sister Ifueko Igbinedion, and Marlyse Reeves and Simone Kendle. Unshackled Ventures, a venture fund focused on immigrant entrepreneurs, signed on initially and support rolled in from there. Igbinedio was born in Lesotho, South Africa, but she and her sister are both Nigerian. Parfait co-founder and CEO Isoken Igbinedion Originally called Hairtelligence, Parfait launched on April 11. Prior to its launch, it racked up a 10,000-person waitlist during a six-month private beta testing period. Customers can select from Parfait’s trending styles such as a straight blonde wig with a side part and a wavy black wig with a middle part or tailor their own. Prices range from around $458 to $1,174. Parfait takes after the dessert parfait that it’s christened for because it’s designed to provide a layered experience allowing customers to create and customize wigs to their liking. Igbinedion says, “Personalization is the core of who we are and what we do and what we want to continue to highlight so that customers really understand that we are really there for them and what they care about.” Early on, custom wigs have tended to be the most popular, according to Igbinedion. “People are asking for blunt cuts and different colors, and we have a lot of older women coming to us asking for grays in the hair,” she says. “Those custom orders really help to inform how we continue to drop new product styles.” Custom wig customers select their preferred hair color, pattern and length before Parfait’s customization tool invites them to take four selfies to capture the dimensions of their hairlines, head shapes and sizes, and skin tones to ensure the correct wig size and lace tint color. The wigs are ready within five to seven business days. Users are encouraged to book a 15-minute pre- and post-purchase virtual consultation with an expert to address questions or concerns. Igbinedion says, “As we continue to sell to our customers, we’ll need fewer virtual consultations because our technology is learning about what you care about and incorporating that into how we build our products.” If they notify Parfait’s customer service within five days of receiving their wig, customers can return the product or have free adjustments done up to 30 days after purchase. “We want to make sure we get the opportunity to hear what you saw as an issue so that we can not only fix it internally, but have the opportunity to fix it for you because people who are coming to us really do want to use these products,” says Igbinedion. “Once we have these preferences right, even if it’s after the first adjustment, we never get them wrong.” Beta testing has informed Parfait’s go-to-market strategy, and its product descriptions and names. “We use clear distinctions between patterns and textures rather than origins because a lot of people don’t realize that when you see things like Brazilian, Malaysian, Filipino, sometimes they are from those countries, but usually it’s just a description of a curl pattern,” says Igbinedion, noting high-quality imagery has been added to Parfait’s website to accurately depict hair. Customers can select from Parfait’s trending wig styles or tailor their wigs using its platform. Prices range from around $458 to $1,174. Parfait’s launch has been supported by its “Faces” campaign showcasing the stories of women who wear wigs for four different reasons: medical, professional, self-expression and protective to grow their natural hair. Igbinedion’s wig journey started after a DIY perm went wrong and caused her hair to fall out. She’s leaned on wigs and extensions as a safe alternative, and a way to grow her natural hair and protect against damage. The global market for wigs and extensions is projected to accelerate at a compound annual growth rate of 13% to reach $13.3 billion in sales by 2026, according to data intelligence firm Arizton . Companies like Waeve, Silk or Lace, Latched and Hooked, and Luxy Hair are evolving the space by making more affordable, convenient and less intimidating products. Igbinedion believes there’s still room for a ton of wig innovation. She says, “As you dig into the layers of the industry, you realize there are foundational issues that really require innovation to be able to scale this vision of customization for these products at a global level, which is what our goal is.” Parfait’s first order on April 11 came from the United Kingdom. It offers free international shipping to the country as well as Nigeria and Canada. As its supply chain capabilities increase, Igbinedion details the plan is to expand Parfait to other “less mature” markets. She says, “We understand how widespread the usage of this product is across the entire world, not just the United States.” Share this article

Upfront Ventures Investments

415 Investments

Upfront Ventures has made 415 investments. Their latest investment was in Parfait as part of their Seed VC on April 4, 2022.

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Upfront Ventures Investments Activity

investments chart

Date

Round

Company

Amount

New?

Co-Investors

Sources

4/11/2022

Seed VC

Parfait

$5M

Yes

1

4/7/2022

Unattributed VC

The Cool Down

$5.72M

Yes

1

4/4/2022

Seed VC

Dayslice

$6M

Yes

1

3/1/2022

Series B

Subscribe to see more

$99M

Subscribe to see more

10

2/8/2022

Series B

Subscribe to see more

$99M

Subscribe to see more

10

Date

4/11/2022

4/7/2022

4/4/2022

3/1/2022

2/8/2022

Round

Seed VC

Unattributed VC

Seed VC

Series B

Series B

Company

Parfait

The Cool Down

Dayslice

Subscribe to see more

Subscribe to see more

Amount

$5M

$5.72M

$6M

$99M

$99M

New?

Yes

Yes

Yes

Subscribe to see more

Subscribe to see more

Co-Investors

Sources

1

1

1

10

10

Upfront Ventures Portfolio Exits

85 Portfolio Exits

Upfront Ventures has 85 portfolio exits. Their latest portfolio exit was Comparably on May 02, 2022.

Date

Exit

Companies

Valuation
Valuations are submitted by companies, mined from state filings or news, provided by VentureSource, or based on a comparables valuation model.

Acquirer

Sources

5/2/2022

Acquired

1

2/24/2022

Merger

1

12/31/2021

Reverse Merger

$99M

9

11/16/2021

Acquired

Subscribe to see more

Subscribe to see more

10

11/9/2021

Acquired

Subscribe to see more

Subscribe to see more

10

Date

5/2/2022

2/24/2022

12/31/2021

11/16/2021

11/9/2021

Exit

Acquired

Merger

Reverse Merger

Acquired

Acquired

Companies

Subscribe to see more

Subscribe to see more

Valuation

$99M

Acquirer

Subscribe to see more

Subscribe to see more

Sources

1

1

9

10

10

Upfront Ventures Acquisitions

1 Acquisition

Upfront Ventures acquired 1 company. Their latest acquisition was Caribou Coffee on January 02, 2006.

Date

Investment Stage

Companies

Valuation
Valuations are submitted by companies, mined from state filings or news, provided by VentureSource, or based on a comparables valuation model.

Total Funding

Note

Sources

1/2/2006

Series C

$99M

$30.2M

Take Private

Date

1/2/2006

Investment Stage

Series C

Companies

Valuation

$99M

Total Funding

$30.2M

Note

Take Private

Sources

Upfront Ventures Fund History

19 Fund Histories

Upfront Ventures has 19 funds, including Share Foundry I.

Closing Date

Fund

Fund Type

Status

Amount

Sources

10/9/2020

Share Foundry I

$12M

1

3/9/2018

Community Fund I

$5M

1

6/29/2017

Upfront Ventures IV

$400M

1

5/31/2017

Upfront VI

10

4/1/2016

MS2016 Nimbus

$99M

10

Closing Date

10/9/2020

3/9/2018

6/29/2017

5/31/2017

4/1/2016

Fund

Share Foundry I

Community Fund I

Upfront Ventures IV

Upfront VI

MS2016 Nimbus

Fund Type

Status

Amount

$12M

$5M

$400M

$99M

Sources

1

1

1

10

10

Upfront Ventures Partners & Customers

1 Partners and customers

Upfront Ventures has 1 strategic partners and customers. Upfront Ventures recently partnered with Carta on .

Date

Type

Business Partner

Country

News Snippet

Sources

Partner

United States

1

Date

Type

Partner

Business Partner

Country

United States

News Snippet

Sources

1

Upfront Ventures Team

7 Team Members

Upfront Ventures has 7 team members, including current Chief Financial Officer, Dana Kibler.

Name

Work History

Title

Status

Steven E Lebow

Founder

Current

Dana Kibler

The Walt Disney Company, Credit Suisse First Boston, and DLJMB

Chief Financial Officer

Current

Stuart Lander

Chief Operating Officer

Current

Yves Sisteron

Managing Partner

Current

Kobie Fuller

Accel, Revolve Group, OpenView Venture Partners, Insight Partners, and Compaq

General Partner

Current

Name

Steven E Lebow

Dana Kibler

Stuart Lander

Yves Sisteron

Kobie Fuller

Work History

The Walt Disney Company, Credit Suisse First Boston, and DLJMB

Accel, Revolve Group, OpenView Venture Partners, Insight Partners, and Compaq

Title

Founder

Chief Financial Officer

Chief Operating Officer

Managing Partner

General Partner

Status

Current

Current

Current

Current

Current

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