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Founder Stories 2 min read

Biotech Skincare: Interview with Marie Drago, Founder of Gallinée

Published:  Feb 1, 2019
Noelle Baquiche

I caught up with Marie Drago, founder of Gallinée – the world’s first skincare brand that uses patented biotech to feed the skin’s microbiome.

What does Gallinée do?

We are a young beauty brand that creates skincare products which use biotech to moisturise your skin by feeding the microbiome i.e. the bacteria that live on it!

What made you start your company – was it a personal passion, or a problem you identified, or a market opportunity?

A bit of everything. I’d always wanted to start a company, and I had the idea of using my knowledge of bacteria I’d gained because of an autoimmune disease I suffer from – and wanted to bring it to the world of skincare where I’d been working for 15 years.

What funding have you received so far?

We started with a Kickstarter campaign and a bit of friends and family money, then an Angel round (thank you SeedLegals!) and we have just closed a deal with Unilever Ventures as the lead investor.

How did you find your investors, and were they angels or VCs?

For my first round, my first investor was my flatmate, a good friend and a friend of my dad. Angels were found by networking, and then we were quite lucky to be approached by some corporate partners.

Do you think your investors invested in the idea, the product, the founders, or the team?

I would say the idea, the IP and the founder.

Any advice for the perfect pitch deck?

My pitch deck now is only images, almost no text. It changes for every presentation, as some people want to hear more about the science, some more about the sales… It is more a base for discussion than anything else.

What was the hardest thing about doing your funding round?

Soooooo much paperwork.

If there were three things you could tell a founder looking to do their round, what would they be?

Whatever you think, it will take 9 months minimum

Pick people that will bring you more than money. Contacts, experience and time are almost more valuable than the money itself

I find it takes a lot of patience, things that I don’t really have. So I learned a lot about myself. Keep the final aim in mind, it helps.

How did you hear about SeedLegals, and what made you decide use the platform for your funding round?

went to a talk by Anthony Rose, the founder, at a London Innovators event, and was sold right on it.

What’s next on the horizon for Gallinee?

Grow grow and grow: new IP, new products, new retailers

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