Success continues to follow entrepreneur Tristan Walker, 29, the founder of Bevel, a line of shaving products targeting African-American men.
The former director of business development at Foursquare announced that he has raised a total of $6.9 million in early-round funding from several investors, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Since launching the start-up, Walker faced challenges convincing mostly white investors that razor bumps were as big of an issue as acne for African-American men when shaving. “If you talk to 10 of my black male friends, eight will tell you this is a problem,” he said.
So far Andreessen Horowitz, Upfront Ventures, Collaborative Fund and Ron Johnson are listed as financers of Bevel. In December 2013, rapper Nas was also announced as an investor in the company.
“As a black man, there are many challenges when it comes to proper grooming and the experience Bevel gives you is one I’ve been envisioning for us all for a lifetime,” Nas said to Forbes last year.
Bevel's five-part system is "clinically tested to reduce razor bumps," according to the company site. It includes a priming oil to prevent irritation, the badger brush, shave cream, a double edge safety razor and a restoring balm.
Walker plans to use the funds to develop products and to sell Bevel in barber shops and other specialty shaving stores. He also wants to provide educational materials for African-Americans on how to shave.
“The story of this market and of the needs of these underserved men is my story,” Walker told WSJ, “and I’m excited because there is incredible opportunity.”
Follow Natelege Whaley on Twitter: @Natelege_
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