276 episodes

The Consumer VC takes a look into early-stage consumer investing and venture capital. If you are interested in learning about consumer trends, have a b2c business and interested in learning about the fundraising process at the early stage, you have come to the right place. 
Mike interviews some of the top venture capitalists in the world that focus on B2C and consumer type companies or have a deep track record investing in these categories such as marketplaces, SaaS, social, CPG and non-tech subscription. 
Mike also interviews founders that are building some of the most disruptive consumer facing companies in the world. The conversation usually includes the insight the founder discovered, fundraising strategy, and the pitch.This podcast also includes bonus episodes. Each bonus episode dives into a particular subject that might not have to due with the fundraise or venture capital, but still would be helpful to founders. For example, a bonus episode on brand strategy or how to construct a board of directors. All bonus episodes will be clearly labeled.For all episodes, please visit www.theconsumervc.com. For updates, you can follow @mikegelb on Twitter.

The Consumer VC: Venture Capital I B2C Startups I Commerce | Early-Stage Investing Mike Gelb

    • Business
    • 4.9 • 124 Ratings

The Consumer VC takes a look into early-stage consumer investing and venture capital. If you are interested in learning about consumer trends, have a b2c business and interested in learning about the fundraising process at the early stage, you have come to the right place. 
Mike interviews some of the top venture capitalists in the world that focus on B2C and consumer type companies or have a deep track record investing in these categories such as marketplaces, SaaS, social, CPG and non-tech subscription. 
Mike also interviews founders that are building some of the most disruptive consumer facing companies in the world. The conversation usually includes the insight the founder discovered, fundraising strategy, and the pitch.This podcast also includes bonus episodes. Each bonus episode dives into a particular subject that might not have to due with the fundraise or venture capital, but still would be helpful to founders. For example, a bonus episode on brand strategy or how to construct a board of directors. All bonus episodes will be clearly labeled.For all episodes, please visit www.theconsumervc.com. For updates, you can follow @mikegelb on Twitter.

    Matt Gibson (New Culture) - Creating Cheese Without the Cow

    Matt Gibson (New Culture) - Creating Cheese Without the Cow

    Our guest today is Matt Gibson, co-founder and CEO of New Culture. New Culture makes animal-free dairy products that stretch, melt, and taste like the real deal through fermentation. We’re going to discuss why he made animal free cheese, what makes cheese cheese, how it’s different to other cheese alternatives, and his go to market strategy, which I think is quite unique.
    Some of the questions I ask him:
    What inspired you to want to make animal-free cheese?
    You had a passion for food did you come from the food industry?
    What is Microbial fermentation?
    Did you decide to use a co-packer or vertically integrate? Why?
    What was your process for raising money?
    Why did you have to raise twice before launching?
    What have been some of the challenges in bringing New Culture to market? You’re set to launch in 2024?
    What’s your launch/distribution plan? Will you hit retail from the beginning? Will you only do ecommerce?
    How do you describe your ideal customer?
    What is the future of cheese?
    Within food tech, we’ve talked and debated on this show about better for you vs. better for the environment and how some of the animal meat-alternative products are better for the environment, but aren’t exactly better for you. How do you think about this at New Culture?
    What’s one book that inspired you personally and one book that inspired you professionally?Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie

    • 31 min
    Noah Gray (Onda) - How he's Scaling Shay Mitchell's Tequila Seltzer Brand

    Noah Gray (Onda) - How he's Scaling Shay Mitchell's Tequila Seltzer Brand

    Our guest today is Noah Gray, co-founder CEO of Onda. Onda is a sparkling tequila brand famously co-founded by Shay Mitchell. We discuss how Onda came to be, how Shay became involved, the intersection of celebrity and consumer, his fundraising and retail strategy. Without further ado, here’s Noah.
    I ask him:
    How did you end up in the beverage space? What attracted you to build an RTD tequila brand?
    Was the plan to always offer a product with zero sugar/carbs? Was it your consumer asking or was the market already going that way and you felt it necessary to offer a SKU that offered zero sugar/carb
    Drinking to enhance
    What was the insight that led you to founding Onda? What was missing from the market? How did Shay Mitchell become involved?
    Many celebrities and athletes are wanting to be associated with a consumer product, ranging from beverage to cosmetics. What has Shay done for the brand aside from her social media responsibilities?
    What’s your advice for founders who might partner with talent?
    How did you think about distribution?
    When did you think Onda started to resonate with consumers?
    What was your approach to raising capital?
    Of course, the category continues to grow and with low barriers to entry, there are a lot of players. Seems like Onda has raised considerably more capital than many of the other brands. How is that money being put to use? Are you simply buying distribution/customers or how does that convert to velocity?
    What was the most non-obvious thing you’ve learned since founding Onda?
    Vice clauses
    Better-for-you
    What do you think about the competitive landscape? How do you think about competition?
    What’s one book that has inspired you personally and one book that has inspired you professionally?Professionally: Mission in a Bottle - Seth and Barry
    Personally: Paul Anderson - Liquorice pizza

    What’s one piece of advice for entrepreneurs?

    • 37 min
    Brent Vartan (Bullish) - How desires lead to opportunities & Bullish on Consumer Report

    Brent Vartan (Bullish) - How desires lead to opportunities & Bullish on Consumer Report

    Our guest today is Brent Vartan, Managing Partner of Bullish. Bullish is an investment firm and Brand Agency designed for consumer businesses living early in an S-curve. Some of their investments include Peloton, Harry’s and Warby Parker. Bullish just released their report “Bullish On Consumer: Operationalizing Demand-Side Themes for Better Outcomes”. We will dig into the report and their three cultural themes within consumer.
    Click Here to Download Bullish’s Consumer Report
    Some of the questions I ask Brent:
    What’s the origin and purpose of creating this report?
    How was the report constructed? What was the starting point? Walk us through how you thought about human desires relates to cultural themes?
    How did you come out with your three themes
    What was most surprising to you from this research?
    How do these themes translate to different age demographics?
    I’ve had on investors who aren’t thematic in consumer. Who knows they don’t have crystal balls they don’t think about themes or trends, it’s understanding the insight that the entrepreneur brings to the table, researching that insight along with the founder. How can this report help your decision making when finding new companies?
    What do you think is still misunderstood about investing in early consumer brands?
    You had this line of should be businesses vs. could be businesses. What’s an example of a could be business or are there certain themes out there that you’ve noticed that you think will bear a bunch of could be businesses that don’t have alot of legs in the future?
    Do you think this changes how brands are constructed at the get go? For example, if you are appealing to a specific theme, like in the uncompromising self for example. You had Public Goods in there, which went multi-category fairly early on. Now I had on the founder of Public Goods who said he had a really hard time fundraising because they were multi-category. .When I asked a PE investor on this show if they would invest in Public Goods, they said no because the exit potential wasn’t there. Do you think you will see more of these?

    • 39 min
    Cristina Nuñez (True Beauty Ventures) - How to invest in beauty and personal care brands

    Cristina Nuñez (True Beauty Ventures) - How to invest in beauty and personal care brands

    Our guest today is Cristina Nuñez, Co-founder and General Partner of True Beauty Ventures. Some of their investments include Maude, Crown Affair, and K18. Today’s episode focuses on how to invest and build a beauty and personal care brand. Without further ado, here’s Cristina.
    Some of the questions I ask her:
    Why start a fund only focused on beauty and personal care?
    What do you look for? Does a company have to be omnichannel from day 1 in order for you to be interested? How do you think about this intersection of influencer x brand
    What makes great packaging great that pops in retail?
    What’s amazing about beauty and personal care products from an investor's perspective?
    How do you make DTC work as a beauty and personal care?
    What are some of the trends that you get excited by?
    How do you think about added value?
    What’s the initial check size do you underwrite?
    What does differentiated distribution mean to you?
    What does product innovation mean to you? Does the product need to have product innovation in order for you to invest?
    What’s the case for having a vertically focused fund? What’s the long term goal?
    What do generalist/non-vertically exclusive funds tend to not understand about your category?Realized that people take care of themselves

    What has worked in the beauty and what doesn’t work in beauty?
    What has to be right in order for you to invest?
    Why a concentrated portfolio?
    What’s one thing you would change about VC?
    What’s one book that inspired you professionally and one book that inspired you personally?
    What’s one piece of advice for founders?

    • 45 min
    Alison Cayne (Haven's Kitchen) - From founding a cooking school to creating a sauce brand

    Alison Cayne (Haven's Kitchen) - From founding a cooking school to creating a sauce brand

    Our guest today is Alison Cayne, who is the founder of Haven’s Kitchen. Haven’s Kitchen is a cooking school and a sauce brand that creates fresh sauces in easy-squeezy, lightweight pouches.

    In this episode we discuss:
    Why she wanted to teach others how to cook
    Founding Haven’s Kitchen in NYC
    Why she decided to launch your own sauce line
    Her approach to packaging and brand positioning
    How she got into retail
    The current fundraising environment in CPG

    • 35 min
    Chuck Newhall (NEA) - How he founded one of the most successful venture capital firms in history

    Chuck Newhall (NEA) - How he founded one of the most successful venture capital firms in history

    Our guest today is Chuck Newhall, who is one of the founders of New Enterprise Associates or also known as NEA. NEA is one the largest and most renowned venture capital firms in the world. The companies he financed have over $400 billion in revenues today. He’s also a Vietnam War veteran and earned many combat decorations including the purple heart and is an American hero. 

    Chuck released his latest book “Dare Disturb the Universe, a memoir on venture capital” which is an amazing story about the history of investing in innovation and that gets to the core about what it is and it’s role in the economy.


    Some of the questions we discuss:
    1. What is the purpose of venture capital and what are its origins?2. When does it make sense to bring in a seasoned CEO vs. a CEO entrepreneur?Recruiting Sidgemore forLoss money for a period of time3. What attracted you to venture capital?
    4. Why did you want to be a financier rather than an entrepreneur?
    5. What makes a great venture capitalist? What qualities do you need?
    6. How did the partnership come together? How did NEA raise your first fund, what was the size of your first fund?
    7. What are your rules of fundraising?
    8. What is your approach to portfolio management?
    9. You had the line that NEA and Kleiner Perkins could not be more different firms. What did you mean by that?10. How do you think about focus when you are multi-stage?
    What makes a great VC firm and what tends to be their downfall?
    How do you think about innovation vs. sustainability? Most of the tech companies for example that go public aren’t profitable. Uber and Lyft for example that have been
    How do you think about founder uniqueness?
    You mention in the book how venture capital is different to other forms of financing. What regulations or legal systems would you change?
    What has been the biggest changes / shifts in venture capital since you started?

    • 37 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
124 Ratings

124 Ratings

GardenDistrictVC ,

Great podcasts and guests across the consumer space

Mike Gelb’s ‘The Consumer VC’ is a fantastic resource for those folks interested in consumer-facing venture capital. As a fund manager based in Southeast Asia, I constantly find interesting talking points and insights here that are applicable to the larger global industry. He features great guests and I highly recommend his interviews. Thanks, Mike.

shaunzieg ,

Awesome show

Great show, great questions, and great guests. I learned a ton listening .

Oscar1a ,

Great content, even better interviewer

I give Mike 5/5

You Might Also Like

Harry Stebbings
Greylock Partners
TechCrunch, Natasha Mascarenhas, Alex Wilhelm, Grace Mendenhall, Maggie Stamets, Kell, Mary Ann Azevedo
Colossus | Investing & Business Podcasts
Andreessen Horowitz
Jason Calacanis