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By Liz Engel – Staff reporterMarch 01, 2021, 06:31am EST Updated 03/02/2021 9:18 am


Lightship Capital, a Cincinnati venture capital fund that targets minority- and women-led startups, has made its first investment of 2021, adding a Detroit-based diverse toy maker with Procter & Gamble ties to its growing portfolio.

Healthy Roots Dolls has Queen City ties, and Jean-Charles and Lightship Capital General Partner Candice Brackeen have worked together before. Jean-Charles moved her company from New England to Cincinnati in 2016 as part of the Venture for America fellowship, a two-year program that connects recent college graduates with startups in high-growth cities. Jean-Charles has since relocated Healthy Roots Dolls to Detroit, but in 2019, Healthy Roots won an inaugural $25,000 grant from Main Street Ventures aimed at female entrepreneurs.

The startup was also profiled on Good Morning America in November.

Zoe is sold on the company’s website and at Target.com for $79.99

Lightship Capital, which launched its historic $50 million fund in June, invests in underrepresented entrepreneurs across the Midwest, including companies led by persons of color, women, members of the LGBTQ+ community and people with disabilities, in the consumer packaged goods, e-commerce, sustainability, artificial intelligence and health tech space.

Healthy Roots Dolls is Lightship Capital’s eighth portfolio company — the fund’s seventh has not yet been announced — and joins Proov, Fresh Fry and Haute Hijab, an e-commerce brand of high-fashion hijabs, or head coverings.

“The contribution Healthy Roots Dolls is making is so necessary, and we’re honored to be a part of the movement,” Brackeen said in the release.




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