IgniteXL Ventures closed a female-led fund to transform the beauty and wellness industry by backing diverse, under-networked founders. Prominent Silicon Valley LPs and VCs supported the initial fund.
WHO: IgniteXL Ventures is a Silicon Valley-based global seed fund investing in game-changing founders at the intersection of technology, beauty, and wellness. With its ties to Korea, IgniteXL leverages its global partnership network to open new markets and provide founders with resources and connections critical to their success. The firm launched Silicon Valley’s first-ever beauty tech accelerator in 2018, SVBeautyTech, and has since pioneered discovering technology-forward companies led by women and diverse teams that bring wellness innovation to the world.
IgniteXL is led by solo General Partner Claire Chang, a 20-year Silicon Valley veteran and experienced angel investor with deep connections to the K-beauty industry in her native Korea as well as global Fortune 500 brands in the wellness and beauty space. Its debut $10MM fund will back disruptive products, services, and business models in beauty and wellness, prioritizing diverse teams and under-networked founders. IgniteXL’s tech focus, global networks, and brand connections provide unique advantages for early-stage founders.
WHY: Claire moved to the US from Seoul, Korea, when she was 12 years old and built her career working with international start-ups through a Korean government-run accelerator before starting her own global accelerator in 2014. After working with over 200+ early-stage start-ups, Claire saw a gap in funding from angel to seed—where there were very few pre-seed institutional investors—and observed the frustration of female founders who found male investors unsavvy to the market and few female VCs to work with. While the market potential for beauty and wellness investment is remarkably stable, it’s largely ignored because it’s seen as a women’s segment. This is a $5 trillion dollar oversight. It was this necessity and opportunity that prompted Claire to create the IgniteXL Ventures fund.
IN THEIR OWN WORDS: “Technology has always been at the forefront of significant industry change, and it’s high time it revolutionized the $5 trillion beauty and wellness space,” said Claire Chang, founder and GP of IgniteXL. “IgniteXL is proud to seek out and back diverse founders leveraging technology to build products and services that empower consumers to improve their quality of life. We believe diversity isn’t a hoop to be jumped through; it’s a path to be taken.”
“We pride ourselves on Silicon Valley being the birthplace of innovation, yet there’s so much happening at the intersection of tech, beauty, and wellness that we’re woefully behind on,” said Han Kim, General Partner …….