Funding News: Former Amazon VP Raises $ 3 Million to Start Beauty Shopping; Tagboard gets more money

Alex Perez-Tenessa. (LinkedIn Photo)

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

The company is led by Alex Perez-Tenessa, a former Amazon vice president who most recently led the tech giant’s Prime Video business in the United States. He also served as Amazon’s vice president of global digital and physical books business and was 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 he was contacted by GeekWire, after they spotted a SEC filing that took over the new funding. He said the company is “pre-launch”.

“We offer customers a new way to discover and interact with beauty products,” he said.

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

At Trendio, we spend countless hours curating the best products in every beauty category, often from emerging and lesser-known brands. We constantly select products that help customers achieve their best, while meeting the highest standards in terms of ethical, sustainable and fair production.

We partner with the most passionate creators to showcase those 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 the technology that adapts the products we recommend and the content of each video to each customer, so that each of them sees the products and information they care about and nothing else. And we never stock, so we have no incentive to sell via any product.

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

The pandemic helped spur the purchase of beauty products online, Crunchbase reported in September, while M&A activity increased for venture capital-backed beauty and cosmetics startups.

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

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

Perez-Tenessa leads the company with David Olmos, Chief Technology Officer, former executive of The 2nd Skin Co. and QCrash. Other employees include Content Vice President Julie Novak, who spent seven years at Amazon and helped lead Amazon Live; Leah Grubb, Glossier’s former makeup manager; and Samuel Moreno, Holvi’s former chief mobile engineer.

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

– Tagboard raised an additional $ 2.3 million, just months after announcing a $ 8 million round. The new investors include WestRiver Group, Spivy Private Capital and Sports Loft. Founded in 2011, Tagboard develops the live production and graphics 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, chief executive of WestRiver, has joined the board.

– Kivo, a regulatory software provider based in Portland, Oregon, raised an initial $ 3 million round. The startup, born out of 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 the participation of 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 Rich Communication Services (RCS) chatbots, raised $ 1.3 million. The startup recently partnered with Vodafone to support RCS messaging launch with Vogue. The 7-person company is distributed in the United States; its co-founder Myk Willis is based in the Seattle region. CEO John Duffy previously led 3Cinteractive.

– Wavy, a “culture management” startup based in Vancouver, BC, raised an initial round of $ 2.5 million CAD. The 3-year-old company helps distributed teams participate 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, former marketing manager at Nudge.

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