Watch Michele Romanow of Dragon's Den on Vested Interest Episode 2

Rohan Kapoor
September 7, 2020
Three brands compete for a real call with investors to scale their brands for BFCM

Watch the replay of the second episode, hosted by Gorgias' Rohan Kapoor. 

Catch the replay of our second episode of Vested Interest, where three real ecommerce brands pitch three real investors for a guaranteed, private call to help secure funds for BFCM, and scale their operations.

Do you have a vested interest in being featured in a future episode? Apply here, and subscribe to the Gorgias Podcast to get the audio of future episodes.

Investors Featured in this Episode

Michele Romanow: Michele Romanow is a serial entrepreneur who started five companies before her 33rd birthday. A "Dragon" on the Canadian hit TV show Dragons' Den, Michele is the co-founder of Clearbanc, an alternative funding company that’s invested $1 billion into 2,800+ eComm and SaaS companies to date.

Ken Kubec: VP, Acquisitions at Thrasio. Thrasio is the fastest growing acquiror of Amazon FBA private label brands. Thrasio has acquired over 65 brands within the last two years and is generating annualized revenue of over $350M. To date, the company has raised well over $250M in capital and is valued at over $1B.

Jodi Kessler: Jodi is a founding team member and Principal at 3L Capital, a multi-stage growth equity firm in New York City. She's involved in sourcing investments and working closely with 3L portfolio companies, and spends a lot of her time looking at digitally native brands and ecommerce infrastructure tools.

Brands Featured in this Episode

First up, we had Coalatree pitched by J.M. Fabrizi and Nik Ruoti.

They are a sustainable apparel and accessory brand that has been in business for 10 years. Lately, they’ve done extremely well in growing and expanding their direct to consumer sales, and they continue to trend up. Their passion is to bring elements of the outdoors and city life together, all while focusing deeply on the environmental components of water saving practices, recycled materials, green facilities, sustainable production, and tree-friendly packaging. They’ve saved nearly 150,000 plastic bottles and 85,000 cups of coffee grounds from landfills with their sustainable production. Due to the increased focus on ecommerce and the expansion of channels into retailers, they are uniquely positioned with competitors to outperform. 

Key Investor Questions: 

  1. Michele: What percentage of customers repeat, and how do you continue to grow with your customer base?
  2. Ken: With respect to R&D, do your sustainable suppliers have enough capacity to deliver on the future product roadmap?
  3. Jodi: How would you use proceeds from a capital raise to accelerate your business?

Second, we had Frieda Rothman, pitched by Freida Rothman. 

They are a fashion accessories company with a strong brand story, and have even been featured in major media channels. The mission is focused deeply on elevating Brooklyn grit into wearable glamour for modern, empowered women. It all stems from the four core values of glamour, craftsmanship, heritage and inspiration. With high customer engagement and an experienced management team, they’ve been able to identify and expand on the direct to consumer possibilities and drive brand engagement through ecommerce. Going forward, they hope to continue to elevate all touch points of the customer journey, deliver personalized experiences, and communicate a strong brand narrative: Women of Strength. 

Key Investor Questions: 

  1. Michele: What have your revenues been like, and what has contributed to the growth during COVID?
  2. Ken: How do your sales compare through the different channels you utilize?
  3. Jodi: How do you position yourself in the market on the jewelry spectrum?

Finally, we had Life Elements pitched by Curt and Martha Van Inwegen.

They’ve been making small-batch nature-based body care for 15 years. While they are most recognized for having the best CBD Bath Bombs on the market, they have big plans to elevate their brand. Many of their efforts have been focused on addressing anxiety, pain, sleep problems, and confusion. Their focus on the intersection of natural personal care and CBD has allowed them to establish a consumer base that spans from millennials through baby boomers. A unique approach to navigating the CBD environment in online marketing has proven well in their direct to consumer sales, and as a result, they’ve been able to effectively communicate their message of developing clean formulas with water-soluble broad spectrum CBD. 

Key Investor Questions: 

  1. Michele: How have the restrictions of CBD on Facebook and Instagram impacted your ability to utilize those channels?
  2. Ken: Given the high quality sourcing and supply chains, what do your margins look like?
  3. Jodi: How are you creating personalization to guide customers to purchase the right product?

Congratulations to Coalatree for winning Episode 2 of Vested Interest!

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