Catch the replay of our ninth episode of Vested Interest, where three real ecommerce brands pitch three real investors for a guaranteed, private call to help secure funds for BFCM, and scale their operations.
Spoiler alert: If you want to find out who won, scroll to the bottom of the page.
Do you have a vested interest in being featured in a future episode? You can apply here.
Investors Featured in This Episode:
Nina McKinney: Nina is a private equity associate at Fenwick Brands. They are a women led consumer focused fund that invest in brands that earn $5 million to $30 million in revenue. At Fenwick, Nina identifies entrepreneurs and brands that have compelling ideas. She helps lead deal sourcing and execution, diligence, and overall portfolio support.
Nate Cooper: Helping others is a passion that drove Nate to create Barrel Ventures, a seed stage fund based in the heart of the midwest. He is also the founder of L3 Hospitality Group and later Wise Apple, a company that set out to change kids' lunch. He is a graduate of the Goizueta School of Business at Emory University.
Ryan Briggs: Head of growth partnerships at Attentive. He works with VC and PE funds and Performance Ad Agencies to implement Attentive to drive incremental revenue growth and extend customer LTVs. Ryan previously worked at growth equity fund 3L Capital covering consumer and enterprise software.
Brands Featured in This Episode
First up, we had Humblemaker Coffee Co pitched by Chris Smith.
Humblemaker Coffee Co is a brand whose passion is to combine their love of coffee and their active Californian lifestyle. They donate 10% of their profits to programs that help autism and want to have a further positive impact on their local community. Coffee shots, one of their most popular sellers, are functional wellness shots that have zero calories, no sugar, and natural ingredients. Being an omnichannel brand they sell their products on different channels – DTC and retail. This includes selling subscription boxes on their website. They want to be in 20 locations over the next five years, which they hope to achieve with the help of capital.
Key Investor Questions:
- Nate: What were your total sales during 2019/2020, and what was the split between your different channels?
- Ryan: How are you thinking about your cost per acquisition as your DTC channel grows?
- Nina: Why are your consumers picking Humblemaker Coffee shots over other products?
Second up, we had Veda Warrior pitched by Smrita Choubey.
Veda Warrior uses personalized holistic medicine to solve American’s mental health pandemic. The company was built to create healthcare for the people and not just profits. They believe that a one size fits all mental health solution won’t work in the long run, which is why they sell three unique formulas of plant-based vitamins combined with 1:1 consultations with holistic health practitioners. Everything they do is rooted in science-backed Ayurvedic medicine. Customer testimonials show that their products are working, as people are switching from Big Pharma solutions and becoming repeat subscribers.
Key Investor Questions:
- Nate: In terms of personalized healthcare/nutrition, what companies are you hoping to emulate?
- Ryan: How do you plan on handling health regulatory hurdles as your company grows?
- Nina: How do you talk to the consumer about changing their lifestyle so that they take plant-based medicine every day, as they would with western medicine?
Third up, we had Eyetamins pitched by Kaushal Kulkarni.
The founder of Eyetamins is a board-certified ophthalmologist and the company sells natural supplements for eye health. The vitamins are based on science and clinically proven to improve global eye health problems. They contain lutein, zeaxanthin, sea buckthorn oil—ingredients that have one of the highest levels of evidence in the supplement industry. The company differentiates itself from other brands by focusing on areas that younger generations are interested in, like blue light and digital eye strain. Their formulas also cater to younger generations, as gummies are gaining in popularity with Gen Z over traditional capsules. They have created a three-phase roadmap that begins with B2C, then retail B2C and finally ends with international expansion. They want funding to accelerate their growth by expanding their inventory, marketing team and also performing clinical studies on their products.
Key Investor Questions:
- Nate: What companies do you see Eyetamins competing against when you go into retail?
- Ryan: What are your reorder rates and LTV per customer?
- Nina: How are you communicating with the consumer and educating them on your different products?
Congratulations to Eyetamins for winning Episode 9 of Vested Interest!
PE & VC Partnerships at Gorgias