Vegan makeup startup Mented Cosmetics announced this week that it closed a $1 million investment round led by firm iSeed Ventures. The company—which creates vegan nail polish, lipstick, and other beauty products formulated specifically for people of color—was founded by Harvard Business School classmates Amanda Johnson and KJ Miller, who became the 15th and 16th African-American women, respectively, to raise $1 million in venture capital. According to Forbes, while an increasing amount of entrepreneurs are women of color, only .2 percent of venture capital is currently committed to startups founded by black women. “Our customer is always clamoring for more,” Miller said. “Our end goal is that women of color feel prioritized in the world of beauty.” Mented officially launched in March with beauty collections that achieve the nude look for people of different skin tones. “Word of mouth has been really exciting for us,” Miller said. “The message is really resonating. Women of color were used to being treated as an afterthought. It’s not every day that you’re a priority.” The duo will use the new capital to expand its product offerings to include vegan eyeshadow palettes and grow its brand presence by expanding its marketing efforts.
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