Meet Olamide Olowe, Youngest Black Woman of Yoruba Extraction to raise $10m in Funding

5th June 2024

Founder and CEO of Topicals Skincare, Olamide Olowe, a woman of Yoruba origin currently holds the record as the youngest black woman ever to secure over $2 million in venture funding at the age of 26.

The milestone earned a spot in Forbes 30 Under 20 list in 2022 as she closed a significant $10 million financing round, with CAVU Consumer Partners taking the lead.

Riding on its status as the fastest growing skincare brand at Sephora, Topicals has captured the attention of Gen-Z consumers through savvy marketing campaigns on platforms like TikTok and Instagram, coupled with striking packaging and a commitment to mental health advocacy.

Founded in 2020, the company witnessed an impressive three-fold increase in revenue in 2021, achieving the remarkable feat of selling one product per minute in 2022.

Beneath the surface, Topicals is driven by a noble mission: to combat the stigma surrounding chronic skin conditions, affecting more than 85 million Americans, by developing products backed by rigorous scientific research.

Olowe, drawing from her personal experiences growing up with chronic skin conditions and her tenure at Shea Moisture during her undergraduate years at UCLA, has been instrumental in shaping Topicals’ ethos.

She identified a glaring gap in the market for skincare products catering to darker skin tones and endeavoured to rewrite the narrative surrounding chronic skin conditions for diverse communities.

Olamide Olowe shared her top three strategies for building a beloved brand, as quoted by Forbes:

“Identify your purpose, your brand ethos, and stick to it.
Don’t shy away from culture. I am a data-driven founder, and I color that data with culture. Bring your own experiences into the way you build product and talk to your customers.
Find true partners that share your vision and support your mission. At this stage of growth, it is crucial for us to have an investment partner who can provide value outside of capital. CAVU Consumer Partners offers a team of experts ready to roll their sleeves up and do the hard work of taking this brand to the next level.”

At the heart of Topicals’ philosophy lies the power of storytelling, serving as a catalyst for open conversations about mental health and challenging conventional beauty standards.

Despite industry pressures to churn out new products incessantly, Olowe emphasized the importance of meticulous research and development to ensure the efficacy of Topicals’ offerings.

Aspiring entrepreneurs are urged by Olamide Olowe to confront self-doubt head-on and embrace the mantra of “Why not me?” as they embark on their entrepreneurial journeys.