J’ai interviewé cinq des founders soutenus par Fab Ventures , le fonds seed-stage créé à Los Angeles par Odile Roujol. Odile est la seule et unique ancienne dirigeante du secteur de la beauté et du luxe active en tant que VC sur la côte ouest, et qui après un premier Fonds Fab I levé il y a trois ans s’apprête, forte des premiers résultats, à lever son Fond II, avec une ambition encore plus importante.
CE QUE VOUS ALLEZ DÉCOUVRIR
- Les tendances vues par Odile Roujol, VC Early Stage sur la West Coast, avec aujourd’hui 21 startups en portefeuille : D2C brands, market places, retail tech…
- 5 entrepreneurs, nouveaux acteurs déjà reconnus de leur catégorie, choisis par Fab Ventures pour leur potentiel : live stream et e-commerce, Saas et decarbonization, material science, gender inclusive et skin health, et toujours le pouvoir des communautés.
Je passe en anglais…
- buywith, a frictionless Livestream shopping platform for retailers and brands, influencers, celebrities, and experts to host Livestream shopping events on retailers’ and brands’ websites. NYC Tel Aviv.
- Bluebird is a software platform that helps consumer brands seamlessly integrate sustainability into their products and tell authentic sustainability stories. San Francisco.
- Kintra Fiber has created a new polyester that is bio-based and compostable. Los Angeles.
- good light focuses on moving culture forward by promoting a more inclusive definition of beauty through product and purpose. NYC.
- Veracity, a personal selfcare experience based on real data about your hormones and other biofactors that impact your skin and your health. NYC.
Odile Roujol, Founder FaB Fashion and BeautyTech community, Founder Fab Co-Creation Studio Venture
What makes you believe in the potential of an entrepreneur you are meeting for the first time?
Odile Roujol: I support entrepreneurs who know their community and their customers very well. They listen to them, and develop great products, convinced that success comes from loyalty. And they are looking for a virtuous model of profitability over time. Not to raise money every 18 months at all costs! This poses other problems, as shown by the growth-at-all-costs model of the direct-to-consumer pioneers, and the current movement of top tier VCs towards platforms.
Consumer brand VCs are often looking for several months of sales, a retention rate, an NPS, I position myself before, knowing the categories well, I take a calculated risk, which creates a relationship appreciated over time. For example, with Shaz and Kiks (« Reimagine haircare inspired by ancient Indian rituals » ) which has just entered Sephora Accelerate and is already in Credo Beauty and 13 Lune, or Bubble (skincare for teens ) now in 4000 Wallmart stores.
What is your investment thesis?
For 3 years now, we have had 3 obsessions:
Sustainability. Circularity. Some of the companies I fund are revolutionizing fashion through materials, like Kintra Fibers which is also partnered with the beautiful brand Pangaia, casual fashion, with natural colors. Thousand Fell is revolutionizing the supply chain on tennis and fashion and is also an example of B2B2C model.
Inclusion, diversity. For example, the Very Good Light community, and now Good Light World, co-founded by David Yi and Michael Engert. David is the author of « Pretty Boys », an activist denouncing « Asian hate crimes » in the United States, he is a role model, recognized even in Asia. They have just returned to Cult Beauty and Ulta, which shows that trends such as gender inclusivity are international and not local.
I also believe in the new ‘online customer experience‘. I recently announced an investment in BuyWith, a « plug and play » video shopping platform that allows an e-commerce site to use the power of social networks and influencers to engage customers and sell directly during the live stream. As a reminder, Livestream shopping in China is $300B in 2021, 20% of e-commerce sales, +250M shoppers via live session. We are at the beginning of this growing category in the US.
5 FOUNDERS BACKED BY FAB VENTURES, FUND I
Adi Ronen Almagor, Cofounder and CEO – Eyal Sinai, Cofounder and CTO
- Headquarters: New York and Tel Aviv
- Founded: 2018
- What is it? buywith is a frictionless Livestream shopping platform for retailers and brands, influencers, celebrities, and experts to host Livestream shopping events with their followers on retailers’ and brands’ websites – through innovative patent-pending technology.
- For who ? buywith is working with world-class brands in the fashion and beauty industries across the US, Europe, and the Middle East.
- Mission: buywith creates cutting-edge multidimensional live shopping experiences that help brands capture high-value customers and shoppers discover exactly the products they need while empowering independent content creators around the world.
- KPIs: The buywith clients benefit from cutting-edge, multi-dimensional live shopping experiences that lead to significantly increased conversion, engagement rates, and Average Order Value. Case studies of global brands’ 2021 Live video sessions hosted on the buywith platform show an 8X increase in conversions, average ±40% session engagement rate, and an average ROI of 10. There are already $300 billion in Livestream Shopping sales in 2021, and the trend is projected to surpass $35 billion in the US by 2023.
- Total Funding: $9.5M, including Fab Ventures
- Sustainability and Conscious factors: Thanks to its interactive and educational component, where products are showcased and described in great detail during Livestream shopping sessions, Livestream shopping channel enables brands and retailers to significantly lower their return rates, allowing the buyers to choose exactly the products they want.
- What problem does your company solve? Our unique “Shop with me” Livestream shopping experience is the only one in the market that enables a session host to shop directly on the e-commerce site, along with the audience, in real-time, increasing engagement and boosting conversions. buywith is the only zero-friction Livestream shopping technology that doesn’t require integration, costly studio productions, or app download.
- How practically do you take advantage of Odile Roujol, an industry guru and Solo GP, in your day-to-day work as a founder? Odile is an experienced beauty and luxury executive, with industry-wide recognition. With her backing of buywith, we hope to be able to acquire new global beauty and luxury customers, and strategic partnerships in this space.
- What are your priorities for 2022? Our priorities for 2022 are to continue growing our market share in the US, and significantly grow our presence in the European market.
- What’s one piece of advice you would give to founders seeking to raise their first funds? Do the best you can to get a warm intro and don’t be afraid to pivot. Sometimes a minor change in your solution creates a different story.
Jamie McCroskery, Cofounder & CEO – Anisha Gupta, Cofounder, Sustainability – Dennis (DJ) Lee, Cofounder, Engineering
- Headquarters: Primarily SF & NYC.
- Founded: 2021
- Industries: Consumer Goods Software Sustainability
- What is it? Bluebird is a software platform that helps consumer brands seamlessly integrate sustainability into their products and tell authentic sustainability stories. The business model is predicated on lowering barriers to bringing sustainability to consumer products.
- For who? Beauty & Apparel brands that have customers who care about sustainability. In a closed pilot program, Bluebird has worked with over a dozen beauty brands in the US (including Glossier, Beautycounter, Function of Beauty, and others) that have helped some reduce carbon emissions in their products by up to 78% in 1/100th of the time.
- Mission: To decarbonize the consumer products industry
- Backed: by Fab in 2022. Aside from Fab, we’re backed by Silicon Valley & CPG investors in the US, but haven’t publicly announced it yet.
- What problem does your company solve? Today it’s incredibly complex (and often time expensive) to develop more sustainable products and market them to consumers who are increasingly educated on sustainability. Our product development platform gives brands the power of a sustainability team during product development and the tools to create authentic, data-based sustainability stories that resonate with customers.
- How practically do you take advantage of Odile Roujol, an industry guru and Solo GP, in your day-to-day work as a founder? Odile has already become one of our most helpful investors even after just a few months. She knows industry needs & trends so well, but more importantly, she knows how change can be catalyzed and connects people to make that change happen.
- What are your priorities for 2022? While our platform is in pilot with key influential brands now, we want to make it generally available this year. This means two priorities for that to happen: 1) continuing to get great data back from our pilot program on how easy it is to develop & market products with low carbon emissions and 2) continuing to grow our interest list in beauty & apparel.
- What’s one piece of advice you would give to founders seeking to raise their first funds? Momentum is the key
Billy McCall, Co-Founder and CEO, Alissa Baier-Lentz, Co-Founder and COO
- Headquarters: Brooklyn, NY Kintra Fibers has built a state-of-the-art fiber science lab within the Brooklyn Navy Yard innovation and manufacturing hub.
- Founded: 2018
- Category: Material science
- Customers: Sustainably-minded apparel brands
- Traction: We have demonstrated our production on standard polyester equipment at the resin, yarn, and fabric stages, and are entering pilot production with brands across the luxury, athletic, footwear, and ready-to-wear apparel categories.
- Mission: We have created a new polyester that is bio-based and compostable. Our material replaces traditional synthetics (PET and Nylon) that are used across apparel categories, representing 63% of global fiber production. Traditional synthetics are problematic because they are fossil fuel-based and non-biodegradable, resulting in plastic pollution in the form of textile waste and microfibers that are shed through the laundry. Our material helps brands eliminate fossil fuel-based synthetics from their supply chain, and with compostable chemistry, our material can naturally degrade, providing a solution to microfiber pollution and a pathway to circularity for textiles. Notable partnership PANGAIA will be launching a collection made with Kintra Fibers later this year
- Total Funding: $2M Backed by Fab Ventures from October 2020
- Sustainability and conscious factors: Reduced emissions, eliminating plastic pollution, enabling circularity Sustainable alternative fibers have not delivered the performance and price parity for synthetic materials. Kintra Fibers is bio-based and compostable while delivering the performance and price parity to traditional synthetics that brands need.
- How practically do you take advantage of Odile Roujol, an industry guru and Solo GP, in your day-to-day work as a founder? Odile, with Fab Ventures, has been a big champion of our work since day one! With her background in fashion and beauty, her insights into what brands need as they move to more sustainable materials and processes have been incredibly valuable to our work at Kintra.
- What are your priorities for 2022? We are scaling up our production and integrating with brands for pilot projects, with a capsule collection launching with PANGAIA later this year.
- What’s one piece of advice you would give to founders seeking to raise their first funds? I would encourage founders to seek investors that are aligned with their mission and vision, have expertise in their industry, and/or a strategic alignment to the company.
David Yi, Co-founder & CEO, Michael Engert, Co-Founder & President
- Headquarters: NYC
- Founded: 2016
- Category: Beauty
- For who? Gen Z and Millennials
- Mission: Very good light is beauty beyond the binary. We are focused on moving culture forward by promoting a more inclusive definition of beauty through product and purpose. We strive to reflect the diversity and fluidity of the world we live in today. Notable partnerships Cult Beauty, Soko Glam, 13LxJCP (13 Lune and JCPenney), Morphe, Ulta.
- Backed by Fab Ventures in 2020.
- Sustainability and Conscious factors: Our products are formulated to be clean, vegan, cruelty-free, and sustainably produced because it’s better for you and our world. This means adhering to the EU’s standards of clean (1300 banned ingredients), being kind to our animal neighbors, only sourcing sustainable ingredients, and taking steps to reduce our carbon footprint wherever possible.
- How practically do you take advantage of Odile Roujol, an industry guru and Solo GP, in your day-to-day work as a founder? Odile has been a fairy godmother of sorts! She’s always there to lend her counsel, and her network has been invaluable.
- What are your priorities for 2022? Launching two new products (blemish balm and moisturizer), and growing our wholesale program.
- What’s one piece of advice you would give to founders seeking to raise their first funds? Where there’s a will, there’s a way.
Allie Egan, Founder & CEO, Veracity Selfcare
- Headquarters: New York, NY
- Founded: 2021
- Category: Beauty and wellness
- Mission: To get women on a path to better skin and better health by getting them the answers they deserve about their personal health.
- For who? She’s a millennial working woman who is frustrated with her skin. She has tried every product on the market, every wellness trend, treatment, and fad diet but has not seen noticeable long-lasting results. She is at her wits’ end but is more skeptical about where she puts her money– needing more evidence, science-backed research, and clinical testing to be convinced. She has prior knowledge of wellness through her journey of trying to fix her skin and understands her hormones have some sort of influence but doesn’t fully comprehend the extent or impact of the hormone-skin connection, so she relies on Veracity to give her the succinct, relevant, actionable information and results in she is after. What problem does your company solve? The beauty industry does not offer customers personal insights, and therefore, appropriate, long-term solutions to treat skin issues. More than 83% of skin issues are caused by a hormonal imbalance. Veracity is bridging the gap between health care and skin care by offering insights into what’s going on beneath the surface and actionable solutions for long term skin health
- Traction: Over 122% increase in the social following over the last 6 months along with postings from major influencers like Tinx, Hannah Bronfman, Kirsty Godso, and Alisa Vitti.
- Are you distributed in Retail stores? In highly selective spas and wellness centers
- Total Funding: $5.9M, in 2021, including Fab Ventures
- Sustainability and Conscious Factors? We believe in a health-first sustainability approach. Our products are the first in the beauty industry to be free of known or potential hormone disruptors in our formulas and packaging. By limiting our exposure to hormone-disrupting chemicals, we improve the health of our bodies and the planet. Hormone disrupting chemicals, such as BPA, not only interfere with our body’s systems but are known to bioaccumulate in the environment leading to toxin build-up in our ecosystems. We use minimal BPA-free plastic in packaging, only when necessary to dispense or sell products, all bottles and jars are made with 100% glass, and all Veracity cartons are made from responsibly sourced paper that is 100% recyclable. Our formulas are responsibly and ethically sourced and not tested on animals.
- How practically do you take advantage of Odile Roujol, an industry guru and Solo GP, in your day-to-day work as a founder? Odile is unlike any other VC out there as she truly understands the customer and the need to create a real community. She serves as an honest and motivating advisor across many elements of brand building, product, and growth.
- What are your priorities for 2022? Making our happy customers happier by enhancing the experience behind our Skin + Health Test results and personalized insights. Continuing our strong sales growth and building our community of women helping women through their skin and hormonal journeys.
- What’s one piece of advice you would give to founders seeking to raise their first funds? Don’t be afraid to speak about your idea. You never know what connections you will make and who you will inspire that can lead to securing funding for your dream.
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