Funding News: Former Amazon VP Raises $3M for Beauty Store Startup; Tagboard makes more money

Alex Perez-Tnessa. (Photo LinkedIn)

— Trendio, a Seattle-based stealth startup building a video shopping service focused on beauty products, raised $3 million.

The company is headed by Alex Perez-Tenessa, a former Amazon vice president who most recently led the tech giant’s US Prime Video business. He also served as vice president of Amazon’s global digital and physical book business, and vice president of beauty and personal care for CVS Health for four years before joining Amazon in 2017.

Perez-Tenessa didn’t reveal too many details about Trendio when reached by GeekWire, after spotting an SEC filing that disclosed the new funding. He said the company is in “pre-launch”.

“We’re giving customers a new way to experience and interact with beauty products,” he said.

Here’s more information about the company’s service, via its website:

At Trendio, we spend countless hours curating the very best products in every beauty category, often from lesser-known up-and-coming brands. We consistently select products that help customers achieve their best while meeting the highest bar for ethical, sustainable and fair production.

We partner with the most passionate creators to showcase these products on video, giving customers the best information they can get about each product, from a real person.

We respect our customers’ time and invest heavily in technology that tailors the products we recommend and the content of each video to each customer, so each of them sees the products and information they care about and nothing else. other. And we never have inventory, so we have no incentive to sell through any product.

In some ways, Trendio’s premise is similar to Amazon Live, the tech giant’s live streaming platform that helps brands promote product discovery through live video.

The pandemic has helped boost purchases of beauty products online, Crunchbase reported in September, while mergers and acquisitions activity has increased for venture capital-backed beauty and cosmetics startups.

The U.S. online personal care market is expected to reach $79 billion in 2025, from $53 billion in 2021.

Trendio’s backers include Madrona Venture Group, Angel Ventures, Fab Co-Creation Studios, Kima Ventures, and Gaingels.

Perez-Tenessa leads the company with David Olmos, CTO, former executive at The 2nd Skin Co. and QCrash. Other employees include VP of content Julie Novak, who spent seven years at Amazon and helped run Amazon Live; Leah Grubb, former head of makeup at Glossier; and Samuel Moreno, former chief mobile engineer at Holvi.

Here’s more news on startup funding in the Pacific Northwest tech ecosystem.

– Tagboard raised an additional $2.3 million, just months after announcing an $8 million round. New investors include WestRiver Group, Spivy Private Capital and Sports Loft. Founded in 2011, Tagboard develops live graphics and production technology used by sports and entertainment companies. Tagboard employs 40 people and is led by CEO Nathan Peterson, who was promoted in January. Anthony Bontrager, managing director of WestRiver, joined the board.

– Kivo, a Portland, Oregon-based regulatory software provider, raised a $3 million funding round. The startup, spun off from Facet Life Sciences earlier this year, helps life science companies manage documents and collaborate in real time. Facet Life Sciences and Oregon Venture Fund led the round, with participation from Rogue Ventures, Cascade Seed Fund and Peninsula Ventures. Kivo is led by CEO Toban Zolman, former vice president of Cloudability.

— Direqt, which helps content publishers and brand advertisers build RCS (Rich Communication Services) chatbots, raised $1.3 million. The startup recently partnered with Vodafone to help power an RCS messaging deployment with Vogue. The 7-person company is distributed across the United States; its co-founder Myk Willis is based in the Seattle area. CEO John Duffy previously ran 3Cinteractive.

— Wavy, a Vancouver, BC-based “culture management” startup, raised a C$2.5 million funding round. The 3-year-old company helps distributed teams engage in team building experiences. Laconia Capital led the round, which included Garage Capital, Two Small Fish Ventures, Archangel, Backbone Angels and others. The startup is led by CEO and co-founder Shawn Hewat, a former chief marketing officer at Nudge.


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