Redrice Ventures deploying up to £10m a year into early-stage consumer brands

The Holborn-based VC is investing £60m over 10 years into early-stage consumer brands and tech solutions

Redrice Ventures plans to invest between £5m-£10m in up to 10 early-stage consumer brands in 2022.

The Holborn-based VC invests at early seed stage up to Series A – typically in tranches of between £200,000 and £2m – with a focus on B2C consumer brands and related technology companies.

The VC has a £60m fund with half to be invested in new opportunities and half reserved for follow-on investments over a 10-year period. The fund is now in its second year of deployment.

“We’ve only deployed a little under 10 per cent of the money,” founder Tom March says. “We’re open to speak to founders who are launching purpose-driven brands and related tech businesses.”

Business models Redrice focuses on include classic product and service companies, platforms, marketplaces, rental and repair and resale businesses. A third of the portfolio is also focused on B2B “pick and shovel” retail tech companies that service consumer brands and provide solutions.

See also: JamJar Investments launches £100m fund to back early-stage UK consumer brands 

One start-up in the portfolio is Manchester-based premium sportswear brand Castore Sportswear, which the VC led the seed round for in June 2018. Andy Murray became its first endorser, resulting in revenue “tripling overnight” according to Tom.

In what is a unique business model, Castore also helps brands manage their own online businesses and now partners with Rangers FC, Newcastle United FC and the England cricket team.

“They’ve been a huge beneficiary of being based in Manchester because there’s good talent within the consumer sector up there with ASOS, Boohoo and The Hut Group,” says March. “They’ve managed to get a much cheaper office space and I’m not sure they would have been able to grow as efficiently if they were down in London.”

The VC firm also recently participated in a Series A round for Hylo Athletics, an environmentally friendly athletic footwear start-up based in London.

Redrice also leverages its exclusive partnership with Walpole, the body which represents UK luxury brands, organising events, panel discussions, as well as publishing thought leadership pieces and trend reports.

Says March: “The advantage we have for the B2B retail tech companies is we can help them leverage that network. We do that through knowing the individuals at the top of those businesses.”

March founded Redrice Ventures four years ago, following a stint in listed global equities and started his transition across to venture capital six years ago, advising a family office on early-stage investments.

He then built a team of experienced operators and founders from the consumer industry. Robert Senior, Redrice Ventures’ head of brand strategy, was formerly global CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi.

“We’ve all founded businesses ourselves, so it’s just finding those people who want that type of partnership, because it’s not for everyone,” March says. “If you want close contact with people who can help and bring their network and advice in a proactive way, then we’re probably the right people for you.

See also: How do you know it’s time to raise venture capital? 

“The founders we find who are the most successful are the ones who use us well. They don’t treat us just as investors, but like an extended part of the team cheerleading what they’re trying to achieve.

“That was partly the reason for founding the business in the first place,” he states. “We saw there was this opportunity in the consumer space where there was a lack of VC teams that had operators and founders at the core.”

The vision? “To be the partner of choice for any innovative consumer brand with a purpose in Europe,” he concludes. “We’ll always be focused at seed stage, because that’s the area we feel we can make the biggest difference and where we can have the biggest positive impact on businesses.”

3 things Redrice Ventures looks for in portfolio companies:

#1 – Energy and ambition: “Someone we want to work with. Someone we’d be prepared to leave our jobs for.”

#2 – Utter drive and obsession with solving a problem: “Some level of domain expertise is helpful. We tend to favour teams but if it’s an incredible individual founder who has built a team around them, then that’s also helpful.”

#3 – A purpose beyond the numbers: “Resilience is hugely important and I think when the times are tough, which 90 per cent of the time they are, you’re more likely to be resilient if there’s a purpose behind it – a mission beyond just making money. That’s key to us.”

More on early-stage funding:

Blackfinch Ventures to invest in up to 10 tech start-ups a year

Dom Walbanke

Dom Walbanke

Dom is a feature writer for Growth Business and Small Business, focused on matters concerning start-ups and scale-ups. He has also been published in the Independent, FourFourTwo magazine and various lifestyle...

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