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The Lip Gloss Gap: Anna Priadka, Fiils

“It’s a numbers game, and a game of resilience. DON’T GIVE UP!”

Anna Priadka, Founder at Fiils

Following a 15 year career as a make up artist, Anna knew that a change needed to happen. She was fed up with unclean, unnecessary ingredients and the excessive use of single-use packaging. Fiils was established to address this problem, providing convenient and stylish refillable products. Fiils has raised finance largely from angel investors and was successful in achieving B. Corp accreditation this year.


How have you found your fundraising journey?

Fundraising has been a huge learning curve for me. Coming from an industry where I’d never spoken to an investor or put a pitch deck together was a huge challenge. I was fortunate enough to be accepted onto a business accelerator, which helped tremendously in preparing me for raising investment. Even then, it takes practice to perfect your pitch and I found just getting out there, speaking to as many investors as I possibly could was the best start. Over time, it has become much easier and less scary to pitch! I actually enjoy it now!

What advice would you give to female fundraisers?

  1. Make sure you know exactly how much you need to raise- then add an extra 10% on top of this to give you some buffer. Money runs out quicker than you think- so you need to raise to give yourself at least 12-14 months runway.
  2. Know your cap table, make sure you understand what level of equity you’re giving away and how this looks like as you raise subsequent rounds.
  3. Ensure you have at least 6 months of runway in the bank before you raise. It takes a lot longer than you think to close a first ticket- sometimes 3 months for the first one! So, ensuring your business has adequate runway to support you through the raise is crucial.
  4. Sell yourself and your vision! Think of it as a pure sales pitch, especially for early-stage businesses where revenue isn’t huge. Shout about everything that makes your business so great and why they should invest in YOU too.
  5. Don’t give up when you encounter rejection. I have spoken to hundreds of investors and out of hundreds, maybe one or two will eventually invest. It’s a numbers game, and a game of resilience. DON’T GIVE UP!
  6. Speak to yourself positively, make sure you affirm to yourself what an amazing business you have, and investors are lucky to have the opportunity to invest in you and your business.

What do you think needs to happen to help close the female fundraising gap?

We need to keep talking about it, the issues we face and how we overcome them. Investment funds, Angel groups and investors that are predominantly men, need to be allies in promoting gender equality and inclusion in their deals by listening and being open to talking about their experiences with gender equality. For female entrepreneurs, we need to stay persistent, focused and network. Raising funds can be challenging but with the right attitude and perseverance, we can succeed!

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The Lip Gloss Gap is a series by The Red Tree shining a light on the role that the beauty industry plays in closing the female fundraising gap. The series will feature interviews with founders and fundraisers which will be released monthly. We invite you to share your experiences as we continue the conversation.

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