Today, we are thrilled to announce our investment in Preemadonna, a consumer hardware startup that is powering creative expression in beauty. The company’s first product is the Nailbot – a connected, at-home manicure device that instantly prints on nails any photo, emoji, image or self-created design from the user’s camera roll.
We co-invested with Halogen Ventures, Amazon Alexa Fund, Two Small Fish, SOSV, Garage Capital, Draper & Associates and a host of strategic angels and entrepreneurs including the Spanx by Sara Blakely Fund, Tara Bosch (founder of SmartSweets), Markus Frind (founder of Plenty of Fish), Helen Greiner (founder of iRobot), and Charles Huang (founder of Guitar Hero). An alum of the HAX hardware accelerator and Founders Factory program, Preemadonna has raised $5.6M to date.
At first glance, Preemadonna with its consumer hardware and beauty products, doesn’t seem like the typical startup in the Version One portfolio. However, as big fans of network effects, we see long-term defensibility through the community of Gen Z creators via the mobile app art marketplace which accompanies the hardware product experience itself.
And perhaps more importantly, CEO and founder Pree Walia is one of the most compelling and mission-driven founders we have ever met. Learning about her diverse experiences as a former grassroots political organizer and an operator at early-stage connected hardware startups, we were quickly blown away by her passion, tenacity, entrepreneurial spirit, and community building. Pree is a champion for Gen Z’s need for unique expression, which I admittedly didn’t appreciate until I watched my 7-year-old niece play an iPad “game” where she “painted” nails on a digital hand FOR HOURS. Now imagine if the canvas was my niece’s actual nail and in a matter of seconds, she could change it daily.
The team has impressively built so much with little capital to date (as we’ve learned, hardware is not easy) and are gearing up for full scale production and is now ready for e-commerce launch at the end of the year.
And the timing couldn’t be better. COVID is accelerating the movement toward “at home experiences.” Just as Peloton is fitness at home, Preemadonna is beauty at home.
Join the waitlist and order your Nailbot: https://www.preemadonna.com
And follow on instagram: https://www.instagram.com/preemadonna/