The Naturally Curly Network Acquires $1.2M in New Funding

2011 is proving to be an exciting year for the people at The NaturallyCurly Network. Last June 22nd, they have announced their acquisition of $1.2 million worth of Series C growth-stage funding. New investors include John Paul DeJoria and Golden Seeds.

According to their CEO, Crista Bailey, this Texas-based social media company has now accumulated $2 million in financing. She shares some information about their recent funding achievement and more in the following e-interview with Lead411:

1. Who are your competitors and how are you different from them?

While there are other sites dedicated to hair, we seek to be — and are — uniquely a social media and engagement company dedicated to those with textured hair — curly, wavy and kinky hair.  Our content and community speaks for itself, and does so often!  We are also increasingly global in our reach (with monthly visits coming from more than 250 countries), even as we’ve penetrated deeper in the U.S. marketplace.

2. What percentage of your marketing budget are spent on the
following?

A. Advertising –
B. Social Media Marketing –
C. SEO –
D. PR –
E. Direct Marketing –
F. Other –

3. What marketing tactic has given you the highest ROI?  What
percentage ROI do you get back on this?

I’ll answer 2 and 3 together:  We spend very few marketing dollars right now…. we’ve had a very small budget in the past and have relied historically on organic growth and our community’s passion and dedication to spread the curly community word.  At times when we do spend money, it’s on the occasional PR retainer or a bit of search engine marketing.   Significant growth has come from word-of-mouth, community referrals and organic search.

4. What do you plan to spend your new funding on?  Product
development?  Marketing?

As far as our new investment, we are focused on hiring talent, enhancing infrastructure, introducing new platforms (for example, mobile) and spending on marketing promotion.

Our focus is on the user experience — delivering one that cultivates easy, frequent engagement — and driving faster growth in network reach.

We’re especially excited about putting our brand in the hands of the community via the iphone and android — in July.

5. If this is your first round of financing , and you’re the CEO, how many hours did you put into working on getting your financing?  Was that taking up the most of your day?

It does take quite a bit of time — it adds up to some time each day, hours each week, days over the course of multiple months, in which you are engaged in pitching, networking, and iterating on the whys, whos and deliverables on investment.

6. If you are the CEO, what are your biggest challenges?

My biggest challenge is actually to make sure that we slow down and are thoughtful, as a team, about where we apply our resources of money, time and people.

We have so many ideas & opportunity to consider, therefore remaining focused on what enhances the value proposition is critical.  When you have a team of engaged, talented passionate employees, it’s a fun challenge to empower all to execute on the key initiatives that drive the MOST value for the company.

7. How many employees do you have?

We have more than 20 employees, and we’ll see that bump beyond 30 this year

8. When were you founded?

The idea of NaturallyCurly was born in 1998 by the two creative co-founders — the company incorporated in 2007, and we were profitable and cash-flow positive in 2010 (and we’re debt-free).

9. How much did you revenue increase(if any) this year over last
year?

Revenues this year will exceed 2010 by 60%.

Want to learn more about their recent funding? You can check on their press release here.