Why I Love Luminse … and now Illumai

by Wayne Willis on September 4, 2013

UPDATE #3: As of 3/1/14, we have a new name! Illumai ... which we think will support our plans much better than "Luminse" could -- mostly for legal reasons. (We can get clear access to a registered trademark and protect it well.)   Further, we have all the social media sites ... @Illumai is our Twitter handle, for example.

UPDATE #2:  As of 12/17/13, we are funded!  Thanks, everyone, for your cooperation and support.

UPDATE:  As of 9/2/13, I've been asked to take over as CEO of Luminse.  My partners and I are now even better aligned -- each of us making major contributions in areas we know well.  I'm now even more bullish!

[Original Post 8/4/13]   A number of folks have asked why I'm so bullish on this company and willing to commit to it full time when we come out of stealth and launch commercially.

Luminse ShampooFirst, it's an incredible product line.  For now, the products consist of a patent-pending shampoo and conditioner which deliver remarkable results, even on first use.

But there are other products, fully developed, in the wings:

  • a "repair" lotion which restores hair damaged by over-processing.
  • a body wash which cleanses wonderfully and leaves the skin smooth and healthy.
  • a skin cream which cleanses and restores the health of the skin.

Most importantly, these products are not just another version of existing formulations wrapped in fancy marketing.  They represent a categorically new approach to cleansing of skin and hair, one that works in harmony with the skin and scalp.  The chemistry is quite different, and the results are truly remarkable.

surveymonkeygraphSee, e.g., the responses of beta users who were asked about the products.  I've not seen "net promoter scores" of this magnitude in any other startup. Even better, when you talk to users, you hear really amazing stories: getting stopped by strangers admiring their hair; having less hair in the brush as Luminse reduces hair breakage; finally being free of chronic scalp irritations; etc.  It's gratifying to bring a great product to market.

I'm also happy to associated with a great group of co-founders:  Our CEO, Michael Zasloff, M.D., Ph.D, is a true "rocket surgeon."  A research leader at NIH and Georgetown Med School, Michael's decades of research on antimicrobial properties of the skin led directly to the Luminse product line.  Our president, David Glick is a natural sales and marketing leader with an extensive background in marketing services.  Mario Russo, our VP Products, has three decades on the front lines of the hair and skin care business and was recently named one of the top 100 salons in America by Elle magazine.  And we have assembled a killer group of advisors, contractors and partners.

We recently started fundraising (Executive Summary) and already have funds soft-circled by some very, very smart investors who are confirming our views with due diligence on the key elements of our Investment Thesis.   We have a great law firm (WilmerHale) helping with the intellectual property and general corporate work.  We've got a very capital efficient business plan / investor presentation.

I think investors will do very well in the next three-five years.  The preferred stock offering at a $5m pre-money valuation should offer good protections as well as the tax-free returns under section 1202 of the Code.  (See blog post on that subject.)

It isn't very often that you get an opportunity to work with a talented team, that you really like, on a truly revolutionary product ... in a startup environment where founders and early investors will likely do very, very well (if we execute per plan).   I love the opportunity and am happy to have it!

Here are the supporting details about this investment:

Request A Free Sample

If you want me to send you a free sample, please email Wayne (AT Luminse.com) and send your mailing address and any other information.

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