Founder Interview with Interview with Odile Roujol.
Fab Ventures is an early stage venture capital and incubator firm Focused on DTC femtech, wellness, clean beauty, and sustainable fashion.
What was your career path prior to founding Fab Ventures, and what motivated you to start this firm?
I’m grateful to live in California. Happy to be in Venice, Los Angeles, after 4 years in San Francisco, the heart of the Silicon Valley. I’ve spent most of my career in the cosmetic and luxury industry (latest job working at L’Oréal being CEO/ President of Lancôme brand, now > $3 billion revenues), then in the tech industry (Orange, a $40 billion market cap telco in Emea).
Angels and VCs naturally prefer to invest in areas they know, which in the Silicon Valley means primarily B2B and SaaS solutions. In consumer goods, investors usually come when the startups show the right traction metrics needed before scaling.
One year ago, I decided to found Fab Ventures (seed stage) as it’s not easy to find money to grow a company in the first miles (after the first check from initial Angels and before the $2m revenues), especially when you are a Direct-to-Consumer brand.
We are grateful for the support we have received from our first investors, including family offices, business angels, luxury retail and beauty corporations.
I’m grateful to have close relationships with later stage Venture Capitalists in the Silicon Valley and an inspiring ecosystem in Los Angeles.
Thesis: Direct-to-consumer, sustainable & inclusive
Criteria: purpose and data-driven founders
Location: Bay Area/ LA investing in the US
Check Size: $50k to 450k. average $250k
What are some of the under-served needs that you believe need to be tackled in the beauty and fashion industries?
I Invest in under-served needs and choose to amplify the voices of female founders and minority founders. There is a lot to do. Especially if you think that half the population are women and that they decide many of the purchases for their couple, family, and tribe. And that black women make up 14% of the US women’s population. Latinx women make up 17.6% of the US women’s population.
Not only do women overwhelmingly dominate consumption, but they build businesses that leverage their insights as customers. And they are uniquely positioned for that.
We are about conscious beauty and fashion. Our first investments are in:
Femtech: Get Stix (pregrancy test) and Bloomi (women wellness)
Clean Beauty: Khairpep and Doctor Elsa Jungman skincare
New services: Foxeyerobotics (lash extension in 15mn)
Vibrant communities: VeryGoodLight & gender fluidity
Sustainable fashion: ThousandFell in the footwear category
What are the main services and support that you offer your portfolio companies in order to scale fast and succeed?
We are a lean structure, company builders offering operational support for accelerated growth. We begin with the customer and the community. We believe in the power of brands and design. We care about the formulation, ingredients, regulatory, packaging, manufacturing, supply chain, and logistics. We are data-driven. And have experts in growth hacking and influence.
How do you decide which companies to invest in?
First and foremost we choose founders. As being an investor is a long-term relationship.
Founders we back think on how to keep their customers happy, leveraging their understanding of their needs, listening to them. And they want to make their path towards profitability for sustainable success. We choose founders who care.
Companies we back are:
– Are emerging consumer Platforms and Brands in Femtech, wellness, Clean beauty, and Sustainable Fashion & Luxury.
– Build connected Communities with shared interests, with curated content and specific products and services (on and off-line).
– Are Powered by tools and Technology: software, diagnostics, tracking of data enabling customers to address their own health and wellness, enabling them to choose.
– Serve/share values with the rising generations, Gen Z / Millennials, and underserved generation, Boomers. Inclusiveness is in their DNA.
More than 5,000 Founders have met at your events! Please tell us more about your “FAB Global Movement”. The Fashion and BeautyTech community.
In the last four years, as a new comer in the Silicon Valley, I was lucky enough to meet hundreds of female founders and minority founders. As only a mentor for a few of them because of my other roles, I decided to create on the MeetUp app a group to enable founders to meet each other and have a conversation with investors and VCs.
FaB Fashion and Beautytech community began with ninety entrepreneurs and VCs, and 17 nationalities in my living room (it was before corona-19 and that seems 1000 years ago!). There was great energy, and famous companies in the Bay Area decided to host us and support the movement, and soon it became a global community in North America, Europe, Asia, and Latin America, thanks to amazing local Fab chapter leaders and founders.
All of us believe that we are stronger together. And that the ”pay-forward culture” (dear to the Silicon Valley) is a great culture. We are now 5000 founders and VCs to have met physically and now in Zoom webinars in the last 2 years.
How can our readers get involved / be a part of your Fab Fashion and BeautyTech community?
Please follow us on social media, the Linked in group has now more than 1000 decision makers, investors and entrepreneurs in both verticals. We share the replay of webinars and key learnings via post/ articles.
On Instagram, we put forward the story of some of our guest speakers. Iconic Venture Capitalists and inspiring Founders, and put forward new brands and companies. All of them purpose and data-driven.
We publish a quarterly report every quarter, thanks to volunteers and some partners. Next quarter is supported by Firmenich fragrances and Geltor sharing our interest for sustainable solutions, and Pinterest platform leveraging tech for the new shopping.
The community is based on what founders, investors, speakers, partners can give. (We want to be affordable for startups and entrepreneurs, we make the webinar free, and the EventBrite ticket for meetings just cover the food and beverage).
In the future, we could consider a membership at an access price to help people to meet each other and have a tool for it.
You can discover more about the faces of the local chapters and our manifesto, past and future events on our site: https://www.beautytechcommunity.com
Please join the conversation!