kindred ventures
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Our Investment in ShelfLife

We are living in a time of high variance. The internet lowers barriers to entry, and lowers barriers for communication. More people can start things, and as those things get bigger, everybody can hear about them –– fast. I think of it as whales and tails. The whales are bigger, the tails are longer than ever. This is coming for food.

Consider this chart:

This used to be where consumers would buy their CPG products, and made up the vast majority of what products people had even heard of. Enter internet: consumers shop online, get recommendations via delivery store algorithm, from Twitter, reddit, from friends across the country, and around the world. This has only accelerated with COVID, and the demand for the long tail is insatiable. 50 new food and beverage brands are launched *every day*.

But the supply chains are still designed for the image above. If you are looking to source raw materials –– packaging, sugar, malt, aluminum, et cetera –– you have to break into legacy companies where there are minimum order quantities, where relationships are still managed over the phone, purchase orders sent in CSV, and transactions move… slowly. When Lillian Cartwright described her experience starting a new craft beverage brand, and how costly and inefficient it was to procure the basic materials she needed for her product, it clicked. In the same way that the creator tools space has blossomed to support the long tail of content creators, so will happen, and is happening, with physical product creators–– led by ShelfLife.

By creating SaaS tools for emerging brands to manage their vendors and materials, and a marketplace to allow those emerging brands to contact and partner directly with the best-fit suppliers, ShelfLife is creating the supply chain for CPG that will power this $150B market, and give the long tail creator the tools necessary to scale efficiently, and ultimately grow their market share to meet the demand from consumers for new brands.

Consumers get to shop their values today — authentic, local, or environmental, culturally aligned, etc — and the renaissance of new brands that have risen to meet that demand will be one of the delights of this decade. We are thrilled to be supporting Lillian and John Cline, who cut his teeth building products for Blue Apron, Google, and eBay. They have made remarkable progress in the few months that we have been following them, and we are so pleased to be partnered with them alongside Switch, NextView, and their crew of supporters. Cheers! 🍻

Oh, and they are hiring :)

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Kanyi Maqubela

Kanyi Maqubela

managing partner, kindred ventures. lover, not-fighter.