Reimagining CPG: Why We Invested in Brandless
By Jeff Brody
Today we are proud to announce our investment in Brandless, a new kind of consumer commerce company that aims to reinvent what and how we buy everyday goods. The vision is substantial; Brandless aims to disrupt the entire consumer packaged goods industry, and in the process, help people reconsider how we consume in the first place. The Brandless mission is deeply rooted in transparency and community-driven values. Brandless will make it possible for everyone to have access to better stuff for fewer dollars.
Consumer buying behavior has massively shifted but the big brands and retailers are struggling to keep up. Today’s consumers think differently, act differently and they consume differently. The stats speak for themselves. Millennials cite value and price as their number one buying consideration. 77% say they won’t buy the brands their parents use. 88% of people consider private labels to be just as good as national brands. 75% of youth in the United States expect brands to behave in a socially responsible way. Simply put: this generation doesn’t buy into the legacy establishment and they don’t have a connection with traditional CPG brands.
Meanwhile the CPG business is a $775B industry that has uniquely evolved since it began in the 1950’s. It has developed a complex labyrinth of middlemen, recursive and inefficient economics and promotion, and calcified channels, all of which add costly markups and result in high consumer prices for the most basic products.
Brandless aims to give people a better approach to modern consumption with value-driven, simple and authentic products. This means healthy, natural ingredients, sustainable sourcing, convenient distribution and packaging and a personalized customer experience. By streamlining the way products are sourced, distributed, merchandised, promoted, and delivered, Brandless will help people escape “the Brand Tax”, a phrase they coined, which is the aggregation of legacy costs that are excessive and unnecessary when value, quality, and social responsibility are prioritized from inception.
The company plans to launch in the first half of 2017 with a collection of everyday essentials ranging from household goods to food to beauty items. Each item is handpicked by the Brandless team to be the highest quality and 100% of the items are as good or better than leading national brands. They will be available to people at the fairest possible price and sold online and through the Brandless mobile app — and perhaps at a few places that will surprise you.
Which brings us to the real reason we invested in Brandless: co-founders Tina Sharkey and Ido Leffler are the kind of team that investors are lucky to work with. They bring a formidable combination of operating experience and inside knowledge of the CPG industry coupled with a profound sense of social purpose.
As CEO, Tina brings tremendous vision and experience to Brandless. She has a deep understanding of the consumer mindset and an innate ability to build companies and communities that serve and inspire them. Her accomplishments and resume are extensive: CEO of Sherpa Foundry, Venture Partner at Sherpa Capital, senior leader at Johnson & Johnson, Chairman and Global President of BabyCenter, and Co-Founder of iVillage.
Ido has founded and operated several successful consumer product companies and his knowledge of the CPG supply chain and retail models are unparalleled. He has dedicated his career to building products people love around cause-centered companies. He founded Yes To Inc., Cheeky, and Yoobi, which has provided free school supplies to over 2 million kids to date. As Chairman of Brandless, Ido’s experience and connections will be indispensable to bringing this vision to life.
We are privileged to support Tina and Ido as they introduce Brandless to the world. Be sure to check out Brandless.com to sign up for updates and join the movement.