Screen Skinz raises $1.5M seed to create custom screen protectors

Clay Canning had an idea while in high school: smartphone screen protectors that featured logos, right on the screen.

He later connected with Rashaun Brown, who was working in sports and licensing at the time, and the idea for Screen Skinz was born.

“We both understood the opportunity and complemented each other’s weakness,” Brown, the company’s CEO, told TechCrunch. “In December 2022, I resigned from my job to pursue building Screen Skinz with Clay full-time.”

Now, Screen Skinz can officially announce the closing of a $1.5 million seed round led by South Loop Ventures and Abo Ventures.

The company produces custom, patent-pending phone screen protectors that feature personalized logos or slogans that are visible when the phone screen is black and then disappear when the phone is in use. Customers can create their own designs or pick from the company’s existing catalog.

Phone accessories have always been a massive market, with the global screen protector market alone worth an estimated $51 billion as of 2023.

Screen Skinz already holds creative licenses with various big-name brands, working with organizations such as the NFL and NBA and entertainment brands like Marvel and the WWE.

Example of Screen Skinz screen protector.

Example of Screen Skinz screen protector. Image Credits: Screen Skinz

The latest fundraise allowed Screen Skinz to move manufacturing from Asia to the U.S., where it could more easily control its supply chain.

The company is looking to double down on the screen protection industry, and though it currently only focuses on smartphones, there is a plan to one day expand to making screen protectors for tablets. “With our IP, we can essentially develop screen protection for any mobile device that has use for a screen protector and features a backlit display,” Brown said.

Brown described Screen Skinz’s fundraising process as “different,” stating that it took the company about a year to close its seed round. Brown and Canning intentionally took their time, as they also sought to refine their supply chain and prepare inventory for a mass go-to-market. “We wanted to do the work of selling a realistic vision to investors,” Brown said.

Screen Skinz met its co-lead investor, Abo Ventures, through Brown’s network from when he worked at Texas A&M. They then met South Loop Ventures while participating in DivInc’s Sports Tech Accelerator in Houston.

Michelle Micone, the former SVP of consumer products at NFL and Hasbro, said she liked that the team had a unique concept and also figured out the manufacturing and logistics of producing it. “Customers want a high level of personalization, but it’s really, really hard to deliver on time and at a reasonable price. Screen Skinz has that formula, and I wanted to be part of it,” she told TechCrunch.

Other investors in the round include Brent Montgomery, the CEO of Wheelhouse Entertainment, alongside Wayne Pfeffer and Brendan O’Donnel, former directors of worldwide mobile accessory products at Apple. Pfeffer, in particular, was also sold on the idea of making screen protectors more personalizable. “For years, personalizing your device was limited to the case,” he told TechCrunch. “When I saw the evolution to the front on a screen protector, I was sold!”

Brown said the company could look to raise as early as next year again. Screen Skinz has some partnerships lined up and is focused on customer acquisition and deepening licensing relationships.

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