The Family Fund & Founder Community, which goes by F3C, announced $25 million in new capital commitments and its focus on becoming the largest community of founders that co-invest in the late-seed and Series A stages of consumer brands.
General partners Kurt Seidensticker, founder of Vital Proteins; Sean Kelly, founder of SnackNation and Caroo; and Josh Wand, founder of Forcebrands, have already amassed a community of over 50 founders and CEOs, including Amanda Baldwin at Supergoop, Tyler Ricks at SuperCoffee, Jake Kassan at MVMT and Jordan Bass at HOP WTR.
With the new venture fund, they will back and mentor up-and-coming founders leading consumer and consumer-tech brands. We saw another consumer brand founder do this recently, too: Daniel Lubetzky, founder of Kind Snacks, plans to deploy $350 million into consumer brands through his new his VC firm, Camino Partners.
Kelly told TechCrunch that The Family Fund’s “secret sauce” is that they are all operators and therefore are intimately familiar with the startup journey and what it takes to develop a successful company.
He recalled meeting people who helped shape the strategy of Caroo, not just those who invested, but who were successful founders and operators first. In fact, they helped him see when he needed to pivot his business, he said. If early-stage founders can get that kind of deep network early on, it could really help, Kelly added.
And while some venture capital firms merely inject funding, The Family Fund’s focus is more on mentorship and extending its network of partners and vendors, or whatever else can help with a company’s operations, marketing and logistics.
“It was important to me to create a community of seasoned founders who could offer support and advice to entrepreneurs throughout their journey,” Kurt Seidensticker said via email. “Having such advisors to offer learnings and first-hand insights not only helps founders rapidly execute but provides them with the right strategy to accelerate growth and create category leading brands.”
The Family Fund is looking at companies for investment that have a durable value proposition that can reach profitability as a result of positive unit economics and good repeat behavior, Kelly said.
The new fund has made nine core investments to date, including Flossy, a pay-as-you-go dental services company; Elemind Technologies, developing a new type of wearable that modulates your brainwaves through ultrasound to adjust your behavior and even help you sleep better; Hopwater, a non-alcoholic beverage; and Ghost, a supplement and energy drink company.
“We believe the consumer ecosystem is really durable,” Wand said in an interview. “As you look at our active network of founders, everything we do is supportive within the entire consumer ecosystem, not just brands. We just want to do that really well.”