The family fund and founding communitygoing through F3C announced $25 million in new capital commitments and its focus to become the largest community of founders co-investing in the late-seed and Series A stages of consumer brands.
General partners Kurt Seidensticker, founder of Vital Protein; Sean Kelly, founder of SnackNation and Caroo; and Josh Wand, founder of Forcebrands, have already built a community of more than 50 founders and CEOs, including Amanda Baldwin at Supergoop, Tyler Ricks at SuperCoffee, Jake Kassan at MVMT, and Jordan Bass at HOP WTR.
With the new venture capital fund, they will support and mentor emerging founders of consumer and consumer technology brands. We recently saw another consumer brand founder do the same: Daniel Lubetzky, founder of Kind Snacks, plans to put $350 million into consumer brands through his new VC firm, Camino Partners.
Kelly told gotechbusiness.com that the “secret sauce” of F3C is that they are all operators and are therefore intimately familiar with the startup trajectory and what it takes to develop a successful business.
He remembered meeting people who helped shape Caroo’s strategy, not just those who invested, but who were successful founders and operators first. They even helped him see when to change his business, he said. If founders can get such a deep network early on, that could really help, Kelly added.
And while some venture capital firms just inject money, F3C’s focus is more on mentoring and expanding the network of partners and suppliers, or anything that can help with a company’s operations, marketing, and logistics.
“It was important to me to create a community of seasoned founders who could offer support and advice to entrepreneurs throughout their journey,” Kurt Seidensticker said via email. “Having advisors like this to provide first-hand lessons and insights not only helps founders execute quickly, but also provides them with the right strategy to accelerate growth and create industry-leading brands.”
F3C looks to companies for investments that have a sustainable value proposition that can become profitable as a result of positive unit economics and good repeat behavior, Kelly said.
The new fund has made nine core investments to date, including Flossy, a pay-as-you-go dental services company; Elemind Technologies, which is developing a new type of wearable that modulates your brain waves using ultrasound to modify your behavior and even help you sleep better; hop water, a non-alcoholic beverage; and Ghost, a supplement and energy drink company.
“We believe the consumer ecosystem is truly sustainable,” Wand said in an interview. “If you look at our active founder network, everything we do is supportive of the entire consumer ecosystem, not just brands. We just want to do that very well.”