Thank you Joseph Sartre for the introduction to today's guest Sapna Shah, founder of Red Giraffe. Red Giraffe makes pre-seed investments in start-ups in the retail industry, including retail tech, marketplaces, brands and consumer sectors. Select current investments include: The Wing, FINDMINE, Robyn, and Swoonery. She's also the founder of Retail X Series, an ecosystem for retail startups in New York and around the US. We discuss what it was like founding a B2C and B2B companies, opportunities in retail innovation and the changes in consumer behavior due to COVID.
A couple books that Sapna highly recommends are Caste by Isabel Wilkerson and Invisible Influence by Jonah Berger.
Here are some of the questions I ask Sapna -
- What was your initial attraction to retail?
- You founded two companies, both within retail. One on the B2B side and the other consumer facing. What were some of the learnings from both experiences that helped shape how you analyze opportunities?
- One trend we haven't yet spoken about on this show is drop shipping. Has drop shipping affected how you look at brands?
- We've seen new consumer habits develop during COVID that has sped up the penetration of ecommerce. What are other consumer habit changes that you believe will happen or that you find interesting?
- You've been a prolific angel investor for quite a few years. What are some of the differences entrepreneurs should be aware of when accepting money from angels vs. VC funds?
- Walk me through your due diligence process. Has the process changed or become more challenging during COVID?
- What are some other trends in retail that you are passionate about?
- What's one thing in venture capital that you would change?
- What's the best piece of advice you've received?