May 28, 2022

When Forerunner Ventures was founded in 2012, traditional brands still dominated and most of us shopped in physical stores. Founder Kirsten Green, formerly a stock market analyst at Bank of America Securities, perhaps best understood that this picture was about to change dramatically; Over the years, Forerunner has invested in a company that delivers cheap razors to people’s homes, building a dedicated community-based beauty business and marketplace that connects surprised shoppers with people they love who are “experts” in their field. .

The Forerunner bet was so accurate in some respects that the young group now manages nearly $2 billion in assets after quietly closing its sixth fund last month with a staggering $1 billion capital commitment.

Given the team’s success in funding what’s going on, we caught up with Green last week for a podcast interview about the trends Forner is following closely right now. Some of the ones we discussed have been edited for more length and clarity. You can also listen to this chat in its entirety here.

TC: In recent years, according to your recent post, Forerunner has been focusing more on this trend, with creators reaching out to audiences directly on Instagram, Substack, and other platforms. Where do you think we are on this trend?

CG: Many, if not most, thoughts still seem very relevant and active to us today. It’s a layered approach when we think about how to take advantage of a one-on-one opportunity and what needs to be done to make it viable. You start with the idea that anyone who wants to say something can now be a publisher and… [out content] and charge for it. But there is a huge difference between this idea and its implementation, because it is a lot and complicated. So we’re trying to think: what tools, services, software, and communities support a person who becomes a sole proprietor, a “solo entrepreneur”? There is a whole ecosystem of built, tried and tested products and efforts that will be made in the future. I think we are still in the early stages of their organization and [producing] Really big, leading companies.

Over the past year, several online trading companies have raised significant funds to sell a wide variety of products. You bet on one of them, Loupe Tech, a live streaming e-commerce platform built for sports card collectors. Why?

When it comes to discretionary spending, sometimes it’s about the subject, but more often it’s about travel. We had malls that combined many stores to create a dynamic environment. I love you [separately see] People on social networks who follow people and interact with content. It is natural to think that there is a retail component somewhere. It’s part of the combination of fun, engagement, and camaraderie. And we have certainly seen it elsewhere in the world, especially in China, where [live-streamed shopping] This is a very big company.

[Layer into the mix other] This is the direction of collecting, which is also not new, and the market for sports memorabilia. [which is] huge, important market [the majority of which is still offline] and Loupe founder Eric [Doty]I’m from xbox. He has extensive experience in the field of gamification and gaming experience. He is passionate about this category and has really developed the concept of creating a great intersection of entertainment and exchange (commercial in this case) and maybe even a third screen for people who watch sports or sporting events.

Do you think a lot about the so-called metaverse these days? Do brands need a metaverse strategy?

The whole metaverse, Web3, Crypto [universe] The opportunity or conversation is really interesting and promising. Like most new things, it’s unknown how long it will take to play out or when it will be taken to scale. [reaches] crucial moment. But I certainly believe it, and I think most companies do too. [because of the] Contribute to driving trends, so I think with that in mind, “go ahead and start experimenting.” sit comfortably. Start making muscles in it. Think about what’s right for your business and brand and identify opportunities [be it for] To attract or retain customers, or even to sell new things, because obviously all of these things probably play a role in this universe. It won’t come out the gate like make it or break it [moment] For everyone’s business in 2022. But in a few years, and maybe even closer, perhaps.

What related bets have you made on companies like web3?

Over the past 18 months, we have invested in several B2B companies as this entire ecosystem is in the growth stage. Some of them have not been announced. But we think that with this evolution of Web3, companies can use it to be at the forefront of the community, in empowerment, perhaps in a future product strategy.

I think a new protocol is being developed for digital connections. On the infrastructure side, there are plenty of opportunities, and historically this hasn’t been where the predecessor really showed up. We are more at the forefront when it comes to consumers. I think so [our focus is on] What is needed to include web2 companies in web3. [To date, much of the activity has] lived in certain parts of the universe [including] NFTs that confuse people when they show up on the radar [regarding] how and why they worked [consumers] He must appreciate it. But the idea that there is a product or service that you can pay for? [by using NFTs] repeated. me me [Now] For the manufacture of [them] More mainstream, I think there should be real use cases – something more than novelty – and there should be very little friction in how you interact with them. So it takes effort to get it [web3] basic, ubiquitous and valuable and I think there are many possibilities [in creating] that bridge.

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