As founder and CEO of NatureBox, a nationwide consumer brand where we raised $70m+ in venture financing and served millions of customers, and as an investor in companies such as The Honest Company, BigCommerce, The Pill Club and several others, I have been at the forefront of the consumer brand revolution for the last decade.
My experiences with good and bad investors have shaped what I believe a truly great investor should bring to the table. The joy, despair, and pressure of being CEO is not something you can easily relate to without having experienced it. My best investment partners pushed me to be a better CEO in a transparent and selfless way.
What differentiates me is a “think like an operator” mentality. That means, my mindset is always focused on company success. I act as if all my eggs are in one basket; that pressure motivates me and I believe it’s that level of commitment and energy that a true partner should have. I work closely with founders on thinking through brand and product positioning, distribution strategy, and building an A+ exec team. Having been a founder and CEO of a brand that has nationwide awareness, and having invested in companies that generate $1.5b+ in annual sales, I have a deep understanding of the intensity, the qualitative rigor and the execution it takes to perform at the highest levels in business.
At M13 (www.m13.co), I focus on early stage investments in companies fueled by changes in consumer behavior. Prior to M13, I ran NatureBox (www.naturebox.com) from inception to a leading brand in the $77B snacking market. I started the company because of my passion for nutrition. Earlier in life, learning about nutrition helped me lose 70 lbs in 6 months. While I was lucky to lose the weight, I believe the next generation of food has to be about change. We achieved a lot but had our fair share of bumps. This experience gave me many hard-earned lessons in management, scaling, raising capital, and dealing with “shit-hit-the-fan” moments.
I started my career as an early stage investor at General Catalyst. I had the great fortune to join the firm when I was 18 years old and spent the first 8 years of my career as part of the team that scaled it from a small firm to one with a global reach. I helped open the west coast office. As a professional and angel investor, I have funded 25+ companies. This portfolio generates over $1.5B in annual sales and includes GoodData, Grammarly, Imperfect Produce, Pilot, Heap Analytics, Split.io, among others.
Outside of work, I am passionate about enabling the next generation of entrepreneurs through education. I sit on the Board of Overseers at Babson College, my alma mater who is consistently ranked #1 in entrepreneurship, and co-created a class at Santa Clara University on emerging retail models.
I think we can all agree that VCs use Twitter too much to talk smack, dunk on each other, and dunk on themselves.
Trying to explain why you need a slide on financials in an early stage fundraising deck just got a lot harder thanks to SoftBank.
The world is now realizing that “capital as a moat” is a pretty terrible strategy