What Is Newness?
Newness is a live-streaming platform that was built specifically for the beauty industry. Based out of Berkeley, California, the startup was founded by Jenny Qian, an early Twitch employee, and Youri Park, who also worked at the live-streaming company.
Drawing upon their experiences at Twitch — a company that’s now valued at an estimated $15 billion, boasting 27 million daily visitors and 6 million creators streaming every month — the founders noticed what they perceived as a gap in the beauty industry: a lack of an online community specifically dedicated to those interested in sharing their love of beauty in real time. Seeing an opportunity, the founders launched their company in 2019 with the idea of creating a more positive version of Twitch, focusing more on moderation to keep communities safer — and have been building the business ever since.
Money and Investors
The company raised an undisclosed amount of money in pre-seed funding, according to Crunchbase. The first disclosed fundraising round for this company is this recently closed seed round, which brought in $3.5 million for the beauty streaming business.
The investors interested in the business in this new funding round, as reported by TechCrunch, are Jess Lee, who invested on behalf of Sequoia Capital, Cowboy Ventures, Upside Partnership, Dream Machine, and Index Ventures. The startup also drew support from its founders’ alma mater, as Twitch co-founder Kevin Lu and former executives Jonathan Shipman and John Sutton also invested in the company. Furthermore, the business gained the financial support of Eventbrite founders Kevin and Julia Hartz and Incredible Health co-founder Iman Abuzeid.
The startup is still very much in its early stages. The business has been in beta testing since last year, according to TechCrunch, and is thus far limited to a small and controlled community. The plan is to use the money this business has raised in its funding rounds to build out its iOS consumer app in 2021 to complement a streaming app dedicated to creators. The startup also hopes to expand its team from 14 people.
This company has the benefit of experience on its side. Its founders have worked with a relatively similar business model before — and saw it skyrocket to great success. The startup will also benefit from a significant seed round, which its founders hope will facilitate expansion in the near future.
About the Author
Jemima is a journalist who enjoys reporting on business, particularly small business and entrepreneurship.