A group of entrepreneurs and investors have joined forces with the sector body for British brands to reach first close for a £50m venture capital fund that will support some of the most exciting purpose-led brands and related technology companies in the premium consumer space.
Redrice Ventures has brought together a combination of operators and investors to provide unique hands-on expertise for founders.
The team includes former CEOs of Saatchi & Saatchi and Thomas Pink (Robert Senior and Jonathan Heilbron) and experienced early-stage investors, Andrew Sutcliffe, Oksana Stowe and Tom March. The team’s advisers include Arnaud Massenet (former NET-A-PORTER board member and founding partner).
Redrice has also formed an exclusive partnership with Walpole, the UK sector body for luxury with over 270 members including Farfetch, Burberry and McLaren Automotive.
Together, they will provide unrivalled support for young brands in a space typically lacking sophisticated investors, where only 8% of UK venture capitalists have experience in a start-up.
The fund has secured the support of the British Business Bank as the cornerstone investor, as part of its Enterprise Capital Funds programme, which aims to increase the supply of equity capital to high potential, early-stage UK companies and lower barriers to entry for fund managers looking to operate in the VC market.
Consumer behaviour and mindset are changing rapidly, driven in part by our evolving relationship with technology and in part from a more conscious and responsible attitude. The result is a shift from buying more to buying better, with minimal friction.
The Redrice team will back founders with a purpose to help others live more fully, as evidenced by existing investments in premium men’s sportswear brand, Castore, worn by Andy Murray and the West Indies cricket team, in female business performance clothing brand, Dai, established to help empower women in the workplace, and in War Paint, a men’s make-up brand focused on encouraging men to feel good in their skin.
To help measure purpose and drive performance, Redrice has also developed an ESG scorecard in partnership with corporate responsibility expert Marc Lepere of King’s College London. Redrice portfolio companies will track 30 ESG measures, refined to reflect their respective size and sector, on an annual basis and the scorecard will be independently audited.
Redrice is targeting around 25 investments with its new fund, taking equity stakes of 10-20% in businesses that typically generate annual sales between £200k and £3m. The fund will invest between £250k to £2m in each business.
Commenting on Walpole’s support of the fund, Helen Brocklebank, Chief Executive of Walpole, said: “Walpole brings together many of Britain’s leading high end and luxury brands, representing an industry worth £48bn to the UK economy and a jewel in the crown of UK business. New innovative and entrepreneurial players are key to the future growth and success of the sector. We are really excited to join Redrice in this endeavour and look forward to helping bolster creative consumer brands with crucial funding and a range of expertise to help them achieve their full potential.”