Net-a-Porter Founder Launches Venture Capital Firm
Natalie Massenet, the fashion entrepreneur and founder of the fashion retailer Net-a-Porter, has just launched a new venture capital firm, Imaginary Ventures.
Massenet co-founded the firm early last year, along with investor Nick Brown, and it has just brought in $75m in capital commitments.
Massenet previously left Net-a-Porter in 2015 a few weeks before a merger was finalised with Yoox, a discount fashion e-tailer in Italy. She stated after that she did not have much of a say in the merger, following Compagnie Financière Richemont’s majority stake acquisition in 2010.
The firm plans to back ideas combining retail and technology in both Europe, where Massenet is based and the U.S., where Brown has worked as a partner at 14W, a New York venture firm, for the last six years.
Talking about the new venture, Massenet said:
“Nick and I have been good friends for a long time, and would spend hours discussing our shared view of the consumer retail space, and where the industry was headed. It was during an initial conversation over lunch that the idea for Imaginary started to come together: let’s build a fund focused on early-stage businesses obsessed with the consumer, and help create the global retail brands and platforms of the future.”
Of the 11 companies that have shown support so far include the clothing company Everlane and the cosmetics firm Glossier.
The pair plan to be “very hands-on” regarding their portfolio companies, with an intention to help a “new generation of entrepreneurs challenging the status quo across every vertical.”
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