The folks at Austin-based NaturallyCurly.com announced today that they’ve raised some additional funding. The news isn’t even warm yet, and the San Francisco Chronicle is already pooping on the news saying that this is a sign that investors will fund anything. They are writing as if two grad students just fleeced some desperate VC out of a check based on a fancy powerpoint deck. The reality is far different.
This is the third round of funding for a company that has been around for many years, achieved profitability in 2010, engages 700,000 consumers monthly, and counts Jimmy Treybig (founder and former CEO of Tandem) as an investor. Perhaps writer Alyson Shontell (@shontelaylay), an aspiring tech company employee herself, just has a dislike for small but solid, growing companies?
With its most recent round in funding completed, the Austin, TX-based social media company has raised approximately $2 million in total during the past four years, and achieved a profitable and cash-flow-positive year in 2010, according to NaturallyCurly CEO Crista Bailey.
“Our latest round is a testament to the business team’s performance — we’ve consistently grown revenues and visits, in triple-digit percentages, over the most recent years while achieving profitability,” Bailey said. “Our passion and vision, and the counsel we receive directly from our angel investors, is reflected in what we’ve achieved. Among our angels are astute business leaders who are involved closely with us — and I deeply appreciate their acumen and hands-on advice as we chart our way forward.”
Among strategic investors present in all fundraising rounds is NaturallyCurly Chairman Jimmy Treybig, founder of Tandem Computers. Investor newcomers include John Paul Mitchell Systems co-founder John Paul DeJoria, whose existing advisory role with the company has led to strategic relationships and ties with multiple industry leaders, and Golden Seeds, a nationwide angel network and venture capital firm with offices in New York City, Boston and San Francisco.
“NaturallyCurly represents ingredients that investors look for — a passionate team, a proven concept, a highly evolved and engaged customer community, and a willingness and drive to constantly innovate,” Jimmy Treybig said. “Through solid, focused business leadership, this recipe has translated to profitability — and a clear strategy for its continued growth. This business, in my view, is one social media company to watch.”
The NaturallyCurly Network recently named its first Chief Marketing Officer, Christopher Burkhart, and, according to Bailey, is currently seeking additional talented expertise in technology and marketing. The company soon will announce a mobile platform and launch a consumer mobile application featuring a daily Frizz Forecast™, thousands of product reviews and a stylist/curl specialist finder. A global consumer packaged goods brand is sponsoring the “app” launch, which will be highly promoted to the network’s online community, which now exceeds 1 million monthly unique visitors, and beyond.