Black-owned Fiber and Material Science Firm Aja Labs Raises $2.5M Ahead of Launching Patent-Pending Hair Extensions Made From Plants

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Aja Labs has raised $2.5MM in a seed round of funding led by Impact America Fund, Better Ventures, and SOSV’s IndieBio, with participating changemakers across public health, business, beauty, and cosmetics, including Diishan Imira, CEO of Mayvenn, a beauty-tech company and platform for hairstylists that closed a $40MM Series C in Summer 2022. The money will fuel Aja Lab’s move from development to commercialization of their first product, biomaterial hair fibers made from plant material sold under the consumer brand Nourie, according to a release. Aja Labs is a venture-backed materials innovation company creating the next generation of safe-for-people and safe-for-the-planet fibers and materials by collaborating with nature. Nourie, the company’s first consumer brand, features patent-pending hair extensions, including a time-release function, delivering a nutrient complex over time during wear. Aja Labs is comprised of a team of Black scientists and innovators. Their first product was developed in conjunction with North Carolina State University. Chief Executive Officer and co-founder Osahon Ojeaga started her career in Silicon Valley, working for startups in fintech and software as a service. The current $13B hair extension industry is dominated by products made overseas with low-quality, irritant-laden petrochemical-based plastics that often cause discomfort for the...