Paid out in commissions
Distributors and brands
USD Capital Raised
Insights from Research:
The Working Women Seed deployed in 2013, learned about the lives and experiences of working women through the mothers, daughters, sisters, professionals, caregivers, and retirees that lived with them. They learned about the expectations put on “guerreras” (female warriors!), as they referred to themselves, as they worked to balance family, relationships, and career.
The first iteration of this seed led us to build around a strong sense of guilt from Moms (and dads) when they have to be away from their children, yet there was no willingness to pay. During the second one, we switched to providing online psychological services that resulted in great engagement but no WTP. Constant interaction with users resulted in the realization that Beauty had a big spend of pocket and that it was the way that society and working mothers had allowed them to take care of themselves.
Elenas is modernizing and automating the direct sales model, taking the good parts of the traditional system–part-time work and trust-based purchases–and combining them with e-commerce. Now, women, or "embajadoras" can sell a wide variety of products from their own homes, they decide what to sell and how much they want to mark the price up, and Facebook, while Elenas manages the back-end support for product sourcing, delivery, and payment collection.
As we learned the significance of beauty products/services for working mothers and the best mechanisms to activate sellers into the platform, we first experimented with content and a limited portfolio of products, yet this result in poor results.
The Venture Today:
Elenas's first two years have been key to achieve Product-Market-Fit, the frequency and speed of iterations and learnings increased our success chances. The company has unlocked major milestones and is headed to achieve incredible results:
- Launched at the TechCrunch Startup Battlefield
- Founders Zach Oschin and Thomas Harsch recognized in the top 30 founders of the country in 2020
- Forbes Top 100 digital startups in Colombia
- +250 distributors and brands
- Closed a Series A round for US$6M in March of 2021
- +90 team members in Colombia and Mexico
What the future holds:
Elenas will continue its growth path in Colombia while growing its product portfolio and improving the income opportunities for thousands of women that are now opening their own endeavors thanks to the platform. After the most recent fundraising news, the team is now planning its international expansion, starting with the launch of its platform in Mexico by May of 2021.