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.
Michael Nogen (Overton VC) - Founding Theality Maternity Wear, Learnings Working at Gap and How He Thinks about Innovation
Thank you Joe Tonnos ( https://www.theconsumervc.com/43-joe-tonnos-ketch-ventures-mistral-equity-partners-cricket-protein-tequila-and-investing-in-sustainability/ ) for the introduction to today's guest, Michael Nogen ( https://twitter.com/michael_nogen ) , one of the founding partners of Overton VC ( https://www.overtonvc.com/ ). Overton Venture Capital invests in early stage companies (Pre Series A) who demonstrate early success through revenue and market validation. Some of their portfolio includes Perch, Stantt and Joy Lux. Previously, he founded Theality, which became a national maternity apparel manufacturer and distributor carried by over 200 retailers and led global strategy at Gap and headed finance and strategy at 1800Flowers.com ( http://1800flowers.com/ ).
A few books that inspired Michael:
Good to Great ( https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0066620996?camp=1789&creativeASIN=0066620996&ie=UTF8&linkCode=xm2&tag=theconsumervc-20 ) by Jim Collins
The Culting of Brands ( https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1591840961?camp=1789&creativeASIN=1591840961&ie=UTF8&linkCode=xm2&tag=theconsumervc-20 ) by Douglas Atkin
No Rules Rules ( https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1984877860?camp=1789&creativeASIN=1984877860&ie=UTF8&linkCode=xm2&tag=theconsumervc-20 ) by Reid Hastings
Questions I ask Michael:
* What was your initial attraction to entrepreneurship, and founding Theality?
* You then went into consulting and then working in senior positions at Gap and 1800 Flowers. What were some of the learnings working at legacy brands?
* How did Overton come together?
* During the summit, one of the focuses was why have corporations at times struggle to innovate, which lead to acquiring challenging brands. I'd love to hear your thoughts on this since you worked for established corporate brands, but also was a successful founder.
* Walk me through your due diligence process -
* When you evaluate early stage businesses, what are some of the most important elements of either the founder or the business to get you interested?
* Has it been hard establishing conviction amongst founders since you have to meet with them remotely during COVID?
* What I find really interesting about your portfolio at Overton is you invest in both software / b2b2c businesses as well as consumer brands. Many software investors have felt consumer brands aren't venture backable. I was curious since you invest in a wide range of businesses and business models, how you think about porfolio construction and the return profile on each business?
* What are current trends that you are focused on?
* Has COVID changed your point of view on any specific trends?
* What's one thing that you would change when it came to venture capital?
Andrew Goletka & Franklin Isacson (Coefficient Capital) - Behaviors that changed forever in 2020, Investing in CPG at the Series A, and when to go into retail
My guests today are Franklin Isacson ( https://www.coefficientcap.com/team/franklin-isacson/ ) & Andrew Goletka ( https://www.coefficientcap.com/team/andrew-goletka/ ) , Founders and Managing Partners of Coefficient Capital ( http://coefficientcap.com ). Coefficient partners with entrepreneurs to build brands, tell stories and engage consumers across the digital and physical worlds, typically at the series A. Some of their investments include Magic Spoon, Hawthorne, Haus and Hydrant. We discuss how they think about omnichannel, insights learned from their consumer trends report that was produced in partnership with The New Consumer, and criteria at Series A.
Some of the questions I ask Andrew and Franklin:
* What was both your attraction to consumer?
* What's interesting about both your stories is that you came from the consumer world from opposite angles - Andrew from the ecommerce side, Franklin from the retail side. From each of these positions, what is most overlooked when evaluating an ecommerce brand vs. a retail brand?
* What are some of the differences when analyzing a successful DNVB vs. a brand that has done really well in traditional retail?
* When DNVBs reach scale and have to expand to retail, what do you find is the most challenging part of that expansion process?
* When you have a brand that is successful in retail, do they need to have an ecommerce strategy?
* When does an ecommerce strategy not make sense?
* When it comes growth marketing, you no longer have the arbitrage opportunities that you had in the late 00s and early 10s. What are some creative strategies that you've seen disruptive brands execute in order to get above the noise?
* What is a reason why a DNVB might not be able to work in retail?
* Have you seen online brands having to rebrand themselves in order to position themselves differently when it comes to retail?
* Walk me through your due diligence process.
* Has it been harder to establish conviction amongst founders when meeting with them remotely?
* What's one thing each of you would change as it pertains to venture capital?
* What's one book that inspired each of you personally and professionally?
* What's the best piece of advice that you've ever received?
* What's your most recent investment and what makes you excited about it?
* What's one piece of advice that you have for founders building brands?
Lucy Deland (Inspired Capital) - Founding Paperless Post, How Design Became Critical To Software, and Why She's A Generalist Investor
My guest today is Lucy Deland ( https://inspiredcapital.com/team/lucydeland ) , Partner at Inspired Capital ( https://inspiredcapital.com/ ) , who back early-stage founders with transformative ideas, brilliant teams, and relentless determination. Some of her investments include Geneva, Habi and Dandy.
A couple of books that inspired Lucy:
Amazing Grace ( https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0770435661?camp=1789&creativeASIN=0770435661&ie=UTF8&linkCode=xm2&tag=theconsumervc-20 ) by Jonathan Kozol
Why We Sleep ( https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1501144324?camp=1789&creativeASIN=1501144324&ie=UTF8&linkCode=xm2&tag=theconsumervc-20 ) by Matthew Walker.
Here's some questions I ask Lucy:
* Since you went from investor to founder to investor, where it makes sense to start is what attracted you to focus your career on technology and innovation?
* What was the insight that led you to founding Paperless Post?
* What led you to going back to your "roots" (so to speak) and become an investor again?
* Tell me a little bit about Inspired Capital and the formation.
* What were some of the lessons learned from your experience as COO that made you a better investor?
* I know that you're a generalist, but thesis driven. How do you approach which categories to focus on and opportunities?
* In our prior conversation, we spoke about some of the differences when your customer is a consumer, SMB and enterprise. When it comes to technology, IU, and feature set, depending on who you are selling to, what are your must haves?
* How has your due diligence process been disrupted by COVID?
* What are some of the different milestones a company has to have at the seed vs. series A?
* What are current trends (that are consumer facing) that you're focused on?
* What's one thing that you would change when it comes to venture capital?
* What's the best piece of advice that you received?
* What's one piece of advice that you have for founders?
Brian Requarth (Latitud + Viva Real) - Building an Online Real Estate Marketplace in Latin America, Raising Money Without a Network, and Solving Supply vs. Demand
Thank you Sasha Astafiva ( https://www.theconsumervc.com/70-sasha-astafyeva-atomico-growing-a-real-estate-tech-company-in-brazil-series-a-consumer-landscape-in-europe-and-how-she-thinks-about-international-expansion/ ) for the introduction to my guest today, Brian Requarth ( https://twitter.com/brianrequarth ) , co-founder and former CEO of Viva Real ( https://www.vivareal.com.br/venda/ ). Viva Real is the online real estate marketplace in Latin America. He is also the founder of Latitud ( https://latitud.com/ ) , helping build the next generation of iconic tech startups in Latin America.
You can follow Brian on Twitter @brianrequarth ( https://twitter.com/brianrequarth ). You can also follow your host @mikegelb ( https://twitter.com/MikeGelb ).
A few books that inspired Brian:
The Courage to be Disliked ( https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B078MDSV8T?camp=1789&creativeASIN=B078MDSV8T&ie=UTF8&linkCode=xm2&tag=theconsumervc-20 ) by Ichiro Klshimi
The Hard Things About Hard Things ( https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0062273205?camp=1789&creativeASIN=0062273205&ie=UTF8&linkCode=xm2&tag=theconsumervc-20 ) by Ben Horowitz
Venture Deals ( https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1119594820?camp=1789&creativeASIN=1119594820&ie=UTF8&linkCode=xm2&tag=theconsumervc-20 ) by Brad Feld
Some of the questions I ask Brian -
* What was your initial attraction to South America?
* What led you to founding Viva Real?
* What steps did you take in order to validate your idea?
* On this show, we mostly focus on the U.S. landscape, what are some of the differences or things you have to take into account in Brazil that you normally wouldn't in the U.S. when thinking of starting a company?
* In the early days -
* How did you approach building your team?
* How did you approach growth?
* How did you think about international expansion into other markets?
* When you were thinking of raising money, did you first look for local partners or did you look towards the U.S. / outside of South America?
* Tell me a little bit about Latitud and how that came together?
* When investing, I know your focus is Latin America. What are some of the challenges when investing in companies that are focused on this geography?
* Has it been harder finding conviction in founders since you have to meet with them remote?
* What is one thing that you would change in the fundraising process?
* What's one piece of advice that you have for founders?
Sapna Shah (Red Giraffe) - Future of Retail, Drop Shipping, and Small World, Long Life
Thank you Joseph Sartre ( https://www.theconsumervc.com/vincent-diallo-joseph-sartre-interlace-ventures-why-ecommerce-is-boring-why-is-china-at-the-forefront-of-retail-tech-and-headless-commerce-explained/ ) for the introduction to today's guest Sapna Shah ( https://www.redgiraffeadvisors.com/about/ ) , founder of Red Giraffe ( https://www.redgiraffeadvisors.com/ ). Red Giraffe makes pre-seed investments in start-ups in the retail industry, including retail tech, marketplaces, brands and consumer sectors. Select current investments include: The Wing, FINDMINE, Robyn, and Swoonery. She's also the founder of Retail X Series, an ecosystem for retail startups in New York and around the US. We discuss what it was like founding a B2C and B2B companies, opportunities in retail innovation and the changes in consumer behavior due to COVID.
A couple books that Sapna highly recommends are Caste ( https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0593230256?camp=1789&creativeASIN=0593230256&ie=UTF8&linkCode=xm2&tag=theconsumervc-20 ) by Isabel Wilkerson and Invisible Influence ( https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1476759731?camp=1789&creativeASIN=1476759731&ie=UTF8&linkCode=xm2&tag=theconsumervc-20 ) by Jonah Berger.
Here are some of the questions I ask Sapna -
* What was your initial attraction to retail?
* You founded two companies, both within retail. One on the B2B side and the other consumer facing. What were some of the learnings from both experiences that helped shape how you analyze opportunities?
* One trend we haven't yet spoken about on this show is drop shipping. Has drop shipping affected how you look at brands?
* We've seen new consumer habits develop during COVID that has sped up the penetration of ecommerce. What are other consumer habit changes that you believe will happen or that you find interesting?
* You've been a prolific angel investor for quite a few years. What are some of the differences entrepreneurs should be aware of when accepting money from angels vs. VC funds?
* Walk me through your due diligence process. Has the process changed or become more challenging during COVID?
* What are some other trends in retail that you are passionate about?
* What's one thing in venture capital that you would change?
* What's the best piece of advice you've received?
Holiday Highlights: Ezra Galston, Founding Partner of Starting Line
This episode are highlights from my conversation with Ezra Galston.
Ezra Galston, is the founding partner of Starting Line. a seed stage, consumer tech focused fund based in Chicago. Previously he was a Principal at Chicago Ventures. Some of his investments include Cameo, Flyhomes, and Spothero.
Click here to listen to my full conversation with Ezra ( https://www.theconsumervc.com/68-ezra-galston-starting-line-benefits-of-chicago-managed-vs-lightly-managed-marketplaces-and-consumer-for-the-99/ )
Click here on Mobile to join our Community. ( https://link.upstreamapp.com/eEoV65h1U6 )
Customer ReviewsSee All
Best consumer focused podcast
Big fan of consumer VC! Mike always brings on the best and most interesting investors on the show. Def check it out
No better way to understand how VCs think
Mike brings on such incredible investors and facilitates thoughtful discussion. Love the show and excited to hear from the Vision Fund!
One of best consumer / investing podcasts
One of best places to get under the hood of consumer investing generally and go deep on specific verticals. When I’m searching for a VC I admire, they’ve more often than not been a guest on podcast!