Imaginary Ventures, the venture capital firm co-founded by Natalie Massenet and Nick Brown, has raised £52m to invest in innovative retail technology businesses.
Imaginary will invest primarily in early stage, direct-to-consumer businesses at the intersection of retail and technology.
The combination of Massenet’s experience of launching and building Net-A-Porter and Brown’s track record as an early-stage investor, places Imaginary Ventures in a unique position to support the next generation of retail leaders.
At a time when online discovery and distribution platforms have made it easier than ever to launch a business, Imaginary’s team will use their combined experience, operational expertise and network to maximise the growth of early stage companies that are capitalising on this rapidly changing environment.
Massenet said: “I’ve felt for a while that I wanted to apply the brand-building experience and network I’ve gained over my career to today’s evolving retail landscape.
“The most effective route to do that was to partner with and invest in this emerging generation of entrepreneurs challenging the retail status-quo across every vertical. Partnering with Nick to launch Imaginary made perfect sense.
“We have always shared a vision that the businesses that will endure will be those that relentlessly prioritise their consumers’ identities and needs and never lose sight of them as they grow.”
Brown added: “Natalie and I are partnering on Imaginary because we believe these emerging brands, platforms and retail solutions have the potential to scale into global businesses. I could not imagine a better entrepreneur and partner to build this platform with.”
Imaginary will make investments across the beauty, wellness, food and beverage, lifestyle and fashion sectors, and launches with a strong portfolio of investments including Appear Here, Daily Harvest, Dirty Lemon, Everlane, Farfetch, Glossier, Good American, Heist, Hum Nutrition, Keeps and Universal Standard.
Imaginary’s LPs come from both sides of the Atlantic and are individuals and organisations who are excited about the way the retail industry is being disrupted. Imaginary LPs include founder and CEO of Caruso, the largest privately held real estate company in the US, Rick Caruso and Matches Fashion’s co-founders and joint chairmen Tom and Ruth Chapman.
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