Meet the Investors Who Invest In Women: Victress Capital
SheStarts launches its first in a series to profile those investors who identify investing in women as a significant part of their investing strategy. The goal of this series is to feature these investors to make them more accessible to women entrepreneurs who are seeking capital.
Victress Capital discovers and invests in companies with female-founders and gender-diverse teams. The team, made up of Lori Cashman, Tricia Black, and Suzanne Norris, combine capital, mentorship and networking to empower driven entrepreneurs, enabling them to achieve even greater levels of growth.
Q: What was the path you took to becoming an investor?
A: We each have different professional backgrounds that brought us down this path. Tricia’s career was in sales & marketing at startups, most notably as the first female hire at Facebook. Lori’s career was in finance, specifically as a private equity investor focused on middle market companies. Suzanne’s career was in management consulting and ecommerce operating roles within consumer brands. Our varied backgrounds enable us to share different perspectives and insights that are critical when evaluating early-stage opportunities and identifying opportunities to support them.
Q: When did investing in women-run companies become a priority for you and why?
A: We wanted to invest our time and capital more intentionally so that our personal and professional goals aligned. We believe that women should have equal access and opportunities across all aspects of their lives, and as we recognized areas where gender inequity still existed, we were compelled to drive progress. Today female founders receive less than 10% of venture capital funding, and we recognized this funding gap as an opportunity to not only earn strong investment returns, but to also support female founders.
Q: How do you source your investment deals?
A: The majority of our current investments have come through our existing networks, and since we launched Victress Capital a year ago, we are developing new relationships with entrepreneurs and other like-minded investors that want to support these female founders.
Q: Tell us about a recent investment you’ve made that you’re excited about.
A: We recently made an investment in Daily Harvest, a NY based company that delivers frozen ready-to-blend smoothies and ready-to-heat soups made of whole ingredients. Daily Harvest was born when Rachel Drori, a busy New Yorker and even busier mom, found herself craving one of those beautiful Instagram-worthy smoothies. But with no time to research, prep, buy, measure and blend before work, she knew there had to be an easier way to get her daily dose of good. Today, Daily Harvest delivers varieties of delicious, whole food, ready-to-blend smoothies and ready-to-heat soups to your freezer. Victress made our investment in Daily Harvest’s seed round in September 2016, and they just closed their Series A round in February. We are not only investors but we are loyal customers as well!
Q: What is the one piece of advice that you typically give first time women entrepreneurs?
A: We have two pieces of advice…the first is to lean on your network and actively work to keep expanding it. You’ll need help from lots of sources to learn quickly, recruit new team members and scale. The second piece of advice is to be authentic. It’s great to be open to feedback and coaching but also important to be authentic and let your unique identity come through. This will lead to genuine and lasting connections.
Want to learn more about Victress Capital? Reach out to Suzanne at Suzanne@victresscapital.com and Lori at Lori@victresscapital.com.