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Net-A-Porter founder launches venture capital firm


Natalie Massenet, the founder of Net-A-Porter, has launched a venture capital firm Imaginary Ventures with her co-partner Nick Brown, formerly a partner at the venture capital firm 14W.

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Named Imaginary Ventures, the partnership recently closed on its first funding round worth $75 million, which includes investments across the beauty, wellness, food and beverage, lifestyle and fashion sectors.

“Online discovery and distribution platforms have made it easier than ever to launch a business but equally, it’s made it even more challenging for them to thrive for the long-term,” said Massanet, announcing the news on her Instagram account.

“The businesses that will endure will be those that build their strategies around an authentic understanding of their consumers and never lose sight of them as they grow. This is at the heart of all the emerging brands, platforms and retail solutions that we are investing in.”

So far, Imaginary Ventures’ clients include Millennial-targeted beauty products specialist Glossier and hair loss specialist Keeps, as well as Appear Here, Daily Harvest, Dirty Lemon, Everlane, Good American, Heist, Hum Nutrition, Reformation and Universal Standard.

“These are the businesses that are going to change our lives, how we shop, what we eat, how we feel, what we wear and how we disrupt the world of retail for a new generation of consumers. I was lucky enough to have extraordinary angel investors and mentors giving me much-needed funding and advice along my journey and it is a privilege to be able to return the favour,” she wrote.

Among the investors in Imaginary Ventures, co-founders Tom and Ruth Chapman, who come off the back if selling that business last year, and Rick Caruso of the Caruso Real Estate Group.

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Massenet’s move into investing comes three years after she stepped down from the top job at Net-A-Porter, the luxury e-tailer that she founded.

Following her departure from Net-A-Porter, Massenet has been reportedly working with online rival Farfetch, as the British e-commerce firm prepares to launch an IPO.