Ghanaian social haircare app Tress has been selected as one of the startups to take part in the latest Y Combinator Fellowship Programme in Silicon Valley, and will now take part in an eight-week programme complete with US$20,000 in funding.
Tress, which launched earlier this year and was incubated at the Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST) in Accra, is a mobile app for finding hairstyle inspiration, targeted at black women all over the world.
The global black haircare industry is valued at over US$500 billion, and social app Tress is looking to tap into this massive opportunity. It has now gained the support of the Y Combinator Fellowship Program, through which it will gain access to funding and mentorship.
The fellowship is designed to help launch startups currently in their early stage and is backed by Y Combinator, one of the most respected startup incubators in the world and previously supporters of the likes of Airbnb, Dropbox, and Reddit. US-based accelerators are increasingly accepting African startups onto their programmes, with Egyptian bug-reporting app Instabug selected for the last Y Combinator programme.
“Acceptance into the Y Combinator Fellowship is validation of the work we are doing at Tress and the value we strive to provide to black women,” said Tress co-founder Priscilla Hazel. “We are excited to take full advantage of opportunities available in the Y Combinator Fellowship Programme to fulfill our mission of helping black women thrive.”
The team will participate in the Kick Off conference during the first week of the programme, while the subsequent weeks of the programme will be conducted remotely, with virtual weekly office hours and talks. At the end of the programme, Tress will pitch to investors at a Virtual Demo Day.