Brown and Ayo, a South African lifestyle hair brand focused on styles and trends for black women, has secured ZAR4 million (US$276,000) in funding from Enygma Ventures, a female focused venture capital firm.
Since its inception in 2019, Brown and Ayo has been providing customers with an extensive online marketplace of natural hair extensions created to mimic black natural hair textures, priding itself in bringing both trendy and well-loved products to the South African black woman consumer.
Enygma Ventures is a ZAR100 million (US$6.8 million) fund launched in late 2019, which has a focus on investing in women entrepreneurs in the SADC region. It has now backed Brown and Ayo to the tune of ZAR4 million (US$276,000) to help it grow.
We are super excited about this investment as natural hairstyles and products are a fast-growing trend in an extremely lucrative industry,” said Lelemba Phiri, Operating Partner and Principal of Enygma Ventures. “Brown and Ayo have a proven track record of being steps ahead of the trend, whilst serving a powerfully growing yet often ignored consumer – the black woman.”
Acanda Jaswa,the founder of Brown and Ayo, stated, “We are overjoyed about our partnership with Enygma Ventures which provides both financial and strategic support. This will allow us to execute on our vision to scale across Africa and globally.”
Jaswa, a graduate of the Graca Machel Trust’s Women Creating Wealth programme, added, “As a solo black female founder operating outside of traditional technology, my odds for raising significant VC funding were low. It is thus very exciting to be backed by Enygma Ventures and their diverse team that understand this exciting sector and have been extremely valuable in supporting me to think strategically about growing my business.”