Newness raises $3.5 million for its ‘Twitch for beauty streamers’ – TechCrunch

by Jeremy

Newness, a startup co-founded by former Twitch employees, has raised $3.5 million in a Sequoia-led seed round for its live-streaming platform aimed at beauty creators and their fan communities. Though today’s creators are not without options for live streaming — Twitch, YouTube, TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook are all popular choices — Newness is focused on building differentiated tools and features that work well for the beauty streamer market in particular. This includes offering options for both public and private streams. These engagement mechanisms reward positive contributions, moderation features, and the ability for fans to earn access to free beauty products by community participation.

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In the new round, Jess Lee invested on behalf of Sequoia Capital. Other investors in Newness include Cowboy Ventures (Aileen Lee), Upside Partnership (Kent Goldman), Dream Machine (former TechCrunch editor Alexia Bonatsos), Index Ventures (Nina Achadjian), Twitch co-founder Kevin Lin, former Twitch execs Jonathan Shipman and John Sutton, Eventbrite founders Kevin and Julia Hartz, Incredible Health co-founder and CEO Iman Abuzeid, and other angel investors from Twitch. The idea for Newness comes from CEO Jenny Qian, an early Twitch employee. She held several roles at the game-streaming site, most recently as the Senior Director of Business Strategy for Twitch’s video platform. She’s joined by CTO Youri Park, who previously worked at Twitch and Blizzard, and Facebook Gaming.

Though always an avid gamer herself, Qian says she began getting into skincare after she turned 30. She then soon realized the potential in the live-streaming beauty space. I was so used to the format from Twitch. And, in some ways, I feel like I was spoiled with live-streaming,” she explains. Being able to hang out with streamers, ask questions, and learn from them was something that made the live format so compelling, she believes.

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