January 18, 2022

Cl Youth Theatre

Fashion, The needs of women

igniteXL invests in early-stage beauty companies

Venture capital firm igniteXL ​started in 2014 to help startups, mainly out of Korea, get their foot in the US market, said founding partner Claire Chang. While that model was effective at getting early-stage companies started in the US, a few factors drove a change in the VC’s tactics.

First, she said some of the female founders became frustrated by how difficult it was to find female investors. Additionally, Chang said she wanted to engage with companies between the family, friends and angel investor period and the seed investment period.

With those considerations, igniteXL transitioned to a pre-seed investment firm that focused on investing in the $5 trillion global personal care and wellness market. The VC also focuses on investing in companies run by women and diverse teams, which Chang said is a pathway to investment success.

While women make 85% of the purchasing decisions for consumer goods, only 2.2% of female-led companies across all sectors were backed by a VC in 2019, and that number dropped in 2020, Chang said.