Aug. 12, 2021

Katie Shea (Divergent Capital) - Why Consumer Brands Have Higher Benchmarks Than Ever

Katie Shea (Divergent Capital) - Why Consumer Brands Have Higher Benchmarks Than Ever

My guest today is Katie Shea, Managing Partner of Divergent Capital. Katie has had alot of experience on both sides of the table as a founder, operator and angel investor and venture capital. Some of her investments include Cityrow, Parade and Topicals. We discuss why and how she launched a venture fund in the middle of the pandemic, how she approached angel investing, where the bar is for digitally native brands. Without further ado, here's Katie.

You can follow Katie on Twitter Here.

Some of the questions I ask Katie:

  1. I think a great place to start is what was your initial attraction to consumer?
  2. Why did you decide to start a fund during COVID?
  3. You've been both a founder and early employee. What were some of your learnings in both of those roles?
  4. You've worked in marketing with companies, as an employee and consultant. I remember in our first conversation, you spoke about being much more analytical with marketing (figuring out LTV/CAC and optimization) and less brand-marketing oriented. Since we don't have the arbitrage opportunities in growth like we did in the late 00s/early 10s, what are some creative strategies that you've seen in order to have higher LTV/CAC ratios and shorter paybacks?
  5. How should a new consumer brand approach growth?
  6. As an angel investor, what is your strategy when it comes to portfolio diversification?
  7. You invest in both technology and brands. How do you think about portfolio construction?
  8. Do you have any advice on folks that are thinking of becoming angels?
  9. Divergent Venture Fund started during COVID
  10. Walk me through your due diligence process?
  11. What are current trends that you are focused on?
  12. When should a consumer brand think about raising capital?
  13. What's one thing that you would change as it relates to venture capital?
  14. What's one book that inspired you personally and one book that inspired you professionally?
  15. What's the best piece of advice that you've received?