Tristan Walker is slowly becoming one of the biggest new names in Silicon Valley and for ALL the right reasons.
The 31 year old quit his highly coveted job at one of the top venture capital firms in the nation, Andreessen Horowitz, to launch his own company back in 2013, Walker & Company Brands. He took a big gamble doing so and of course was met with loads of resistance from those around him saying it was a bad idea and he couldn’t do it.
Yet his perseverance has paid off and yesterday, Walker completed his second round of funding for his company to the tune of $24 MILLION and just inked a deal with Target to carry his Bevel line (the first shaving line specifically created for people of color with coarser hair) of shaving products in their stores and online.
When speaking on the greatest barriers he encountered while raising money for his new company, Walker’s responses bring light to the ongoing issue of the lack of diversity in the venture capital industry. While black women alone spend over $8 billion annually on beauty products, advertisers and beauty companies alike continue to neglect and overlook people of color and our growing purchasing power.
Tristan’s issue speaks to the fact that investors and other executives at the top are still ignorant (by choice!) of the needs of this demographic, as over 80% of black men and women struggle with things such as razor bumps and ingrown hair, yet no line has been created, until now, that directly addresses these issues. Had investors realized and appreciated the dollar strength of this group, their needs and how this product will resolve them, Tristan may already be on course to be a billionaire.
But black celebrities and athletes and corporations who are knowledgeable of the black community are taking notice and investing in this company which is sure to blow up. Some of Tristan’s biggest supporters and funders include NBA All Star Andre Iguodala, Magic Johnson, singer John Legend, rapper Nas and Google Ventures.
Interested in checking out Tristan’s line and seeing if it works for you? Check it out soon at Target or on the company’s website at getbevel.com.