Technology-Powered Custom Hair Care Company Prose Raises $18 Million

By Annie Baker ● November 29, 2018

New York-based Prose announced that it has raised $18 million in Series B funding led by Insight Venture Partners to invest in data science research and build out its custom fulfillment infrastructure in order to accelerate consumer demand for products. Existing investors Forerunner Ventures, ISAI, Lerer Hippeau Ventures, and Correlation Ventures also participated in this round. This brings Prose’s total funding to $25 million.

Prose launched in January 2018 and is now one of the fastest growing hair care brands on the market. And Prose is seeing double-digit growth month-over-month. And to support their growth, Prose created an automated customization infrastructure which is expected to be deployed in the middle of next year at the company’s newest facility in Brooklyn, New York. This new manufacturing system will have the capacity to customize up to 10,000 products per day.

“While we embrace the latest in modern technology, our mission at Prose is deeply rooted in the history of beauty and its one-to-one approach to making products,” said Prose co-founder and CEO Arnaud Plas in a statement. “The traditional FMCG model, based on consumer segmentation and upfront mass production is coming to an end. It generates frustration for customers and waste for the planet. What we’re building is a modern beauty company for the new generation.”

Prose also collected half a million consumer profiles through its online consultation. These profiles pull in 135 data points each, including selfies to train computer vision algorithms. Prose recently launched a custom hair oil, which sold out in just a few days. Prose’s custom formula accounts for the hair type and texture of its users including lifestyle habits, environmental exposure, diet, and stress levels. And it also accounts for personal preferences such whether they are vegan, gluten, or prefer fragrance-free. These products are made-to-order in Prose’s NYC lab.

“Not only is Prose leading the charge in disrupting the industry, but by creating a fully-integrated software and supply chain infrastructure rooted on 1st party data, they are building a defensible model that will ensure they are always one step ahead,” added Insight Venture Partners Nicolas Wittenborn ― who is joining Prose’s board of directors. “We look forward to working with Prose to further increase their brand awareness and loyalty in the hair care market.”


Photo Credit: Prose

Prose is going to invest in an in-house data science team and the company is planning to double its current research and development team in the next year. Prose co-founder and CTO pointed out that the company’s in-house team of chemists and data engineers are working together to train machine-learning algorithms and feedback is being processed from thousands of consumers to improve individual products and train the overall algorithms.

“Our mission is to help everyone achieve their dream hair, and that goes beyond our three-step hair care routine,” explained Prose co-founder and VP Product Paul Michaux. “We want to bring the same holistic approach that we have during the consultation to all of the solutions that we’re offering to our customers.”