H Venture Partners closes $10M debut fund targeting science-based brands – TechCrunch

H venture partner brought together more than 75 consumer and retail industry experts to invest in their first fund raising $ 10 million for science-backed consumer brand startups.

Founder and managing partner Elizabeth Edwards (pictured above) founded the Cincinnati-based venture capital company in 2017 after 15 years as a VC with other companies, primarily in investments in companies including Peloton, Bill.com, Roots, and Freshly.

“Venture capitalists stay away from consumer and science-based investments because they don’t believe consumer brands can be technical,” Edwards said in an interview. “However, you can see all the technology that grows into the salad and the packaging technology that is required to get it from A to B without it spoiling. We love things like that – where Mother Nature, Science and human behavior come together in one consumer brand. “

Check sizes from the fund averaged $ 500,000, and H Venture is aimed at female founders and color founders. Edwards says this is in line with statistics showing 85 percent of consumer purchases are made by women, while 93 percent of venture capital is managed by white men. In addition, Consumer purchases account for 69 percent of US gross domestic product, but only 3 percent of venture capital investments, she added.

H Venture has already funded 10 companies with the goal of making 15 investments, she said. It looks for brands that you can imagine on a retailer’s store shelf, like Sephora or Target, added Edwards.

She actually found out about the CBD brand through a Sephora store shelf and a sore back In frontstarted by The Honest Company Founder and former Chief Purpose Officer Christopher Gavigan. H Venture co-led Prima’s $ 9.2 million seed round with Defy Partners, Greycroft and Lerer Hippeau in May.

Edwards said she had “become a believer” in Prima, not just because it was a brand she discovered when she needed it, but because of the plethora of third-party testing and certifications the company had, as well as Primas Leveraging the supply chain and claiming to be more than a CBD brand.

H Venture’s initial portfolio also includes baby food maker Cerebelly and clean wine company Avaline, founded by Cameron Diaz and Katherine Power.

“Avaline isn’t a celebrity brand like you’d find it on social media, but Cameron Diaz has written two books on clean wines and is passionate about making wine the ‘old world’,” said Edwards.

Meanwhile, the new fund brings together a network of founders, entrepreneurs, and investors from top consumer and retail companies, half of whom are female, to provide startups with an expertise that Edwards saw as unparalleled for Silicon Valley companies. Most of the fund’s supporters are individuals with more than 35 years of retail and consumer experience running multi-billion dollar businesses.

“Our consumer expertise is phenomenal; for example we have the world’s leading experts in diapers and baby food, ”she said. “He’s not just an investor, he’s your board member. H Venture doesn’t claim to be experts in everything, instead we have an incredible network of executives and helping startups is what they want their time to be. “

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