Madison Reed Raises $12M To Disrupt Hair Dye Market

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Madison Reed, a hair-dye company that offers digital tools and mobile apps to help its customers color their hair at home, is raising $12 million in Series B funding led by Norwest Venture Partners.

Founded in 2013 by Amy Errett, Madison Reed is among a growing breed of startups that are leveraging technology for disrupting their traditional businesses. As TechCrunch’s Jonathan Shieber pointed out yesterday, these startups are demonstrating that no industry is safe from VC disruption.

The latest funding brings total capital raised by the San Francisco-based startup to around $16 million. Madison Reed’s existing investors include True Ventures and Maveron.

The startup will be using the new capital to offer online shopping and at-home hair color services to its customers. Madison Reed’s mobile apps help women use their tablets and phones for how-tos on coloring their hair without having to visit the salon.

“We will have technology enable the best customer experience, from custom online consultations, and certified trained colorists that are on-call, to a mobile app that lets customers shop from anywhere and apply color formulas hands-free,” said Amy Errett, Madison Reed co-founder.

Using Madison’s apps, its customers take pictures of themselves and send them to stylists sitting in the salon who help find the colors that match best.

“Customers can watch how-to videos online or through the Madison Reed iPhone app to apply it to their hair. Then, they can set a delivery schedule so that they never have to worry about their next salon appointment or hunt through a drug store again,” the startup added in a statement.

Madison Reed aims to leverage a growing trend of more salon-going women looking to shop online. According to an IBIS World report, around 90 million women in the U.S. color their hair, each spending around $330 annually, but they are limited to an expensive and time-consuming visit to the salon.

According to several estimates, the market for women’s hair coloring in the U.S. is around $15 billion annually, with around $3-$4 billion of that spent every year on home hair coloring.

Madison Reed’s founder Amy and her investors believe there is a market to be disrupted using technology.

“The beauty industry is ripe for innovation and hair coloring in particular has long been divided between elite salons and low-quality do-it-yourself boxes,” said Jeff Crowe, NVP managing partner.