RALEIGH–Virtue Labs, a startup focused on hair, skin and nail treatments and also known as Reason to Believe only needed a few months to fill-out its equity debt raise to $22.7 million of a round aimed at $23 million.
The company, which sells Alpha Keratin technology-based treatments, previously raised $15.3 million in August 2017. The company disclosed the latest financing in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
Investors include Greensboro’s Piedmont Capital Partners. It has offices in Raleigh and labs in a renovated former tobacco plant in Winston-Salem’s Whitaker Park, where it was the first tenant in 2016. The Golden Leaf Foundation provided a $1.7 million grant to fund refitting the tobacco plant, which also received support from Winston-Salem economic development sources.
Triangle entrepreneur and investor Scot Wingo recently cited Virtue Labs as one of the startups to watch in the region.
Lisa Roberts in Walter Magazine wrote that five years ago, Melisse Shaban, founder of Virtue Labs, heard about a breakthrough technology developed as a way to use regenerative medicine to treat injuries from battlefield explosions. The inventor, retired U.S. Army Lt. Col. Luke Burnett worked at the Winston-Salem biotechnology company, KeraNetics. He told Shaban that in addition to regenerating tissue, bone and muscle, it might also be used for repairing hair.
The Alpha Keratin 60ku protein is attracted to damaged parts of hair and the body recognizes it as its own. The Keratin protein is what makes up 90 percent of human hair, skin, and nails. According to the company, its hair treatment reduces split ends by 95 percent, adds 22 percent in thickness, and increases color and shine by 138 percent.
Its products have received wide press coverage, including raves in beauty publications.