Case Study: Trail Mix Ventures
Investing in the Future of Living Well
Many EGFS blogs this year have discussed the future of work and the gig economy. By 2020, nearly half of the American workforce will work independently. As the workforce and culture change, so do the demands of consumers. Millennials and others are seeking brands to guide them in making great decisions about what matters most to them. Trail Mix Ventures is a VC fund that invests in those companies—the future of living well.
Regarded as a subcategory of socially responsible investing, impact investing is investing in order to affect positive change socially or environmentally, while achieving financial gains—investing in organizations that aim to improve healthcare access or clean energy technologies, for example.
Trail Mix Ventures works with inventive young companies that help people take care of themselves and others, including companies and brands that focus on sustainable well-being, cultivated talent, and thoughtfully curated realities. Investments include:
- The Wing, a work and community space just for women.
- Parsley Health, direct primary care that offers a 360-degree look at health and is poised to disrupt the healthcare industry.
- Misfit Juicery, making cold-pressed juices from ugly produce and scrap waste (like the trimmings that result from trimming carrots into “baby carrots.”
- Tinyhood, offering expert personalized parenting advice on demand.
Founders Soraya Darabi, Will Nathan, and Marina Hadjipateras all have meaningful backgrounds as entrepreneurs. Darabi cofounded Foodspotting (acquired by OpenTable) and Zady. Nathan cofounded Homepolish. Hadjipateras took her family’s shipping company public in 2014.
The three came together almost three years ago to invest in companies that were purposeful and profitable. “About 60 percent of our companies are female-founded, which wasn’t something we explicitly set out to do, but we’re very proud of fostering that kind of culture,” says Hadjipateras.
“We love working with companies who are socially conscious and focused on equality,” she adds. “For us, it’s about finding companies with missions that fit our thesis, with whom we can build relationships.”
Working with Early Growth Financial Services
“From the beginning, we all saw the value in high-level support,” says Hadjipateras. “Working with Early Growth has given us all of that support. They helped us set up a great base of operations and organization, which is something we were looking for, along with the modeling we needed.”
Consulting CFO Richard Duda says, “Working with Trail Mix has been so rewarding because we believe in the work they’re doing. Beyond that, everyone there is so receptive to learning. They ask great questions and are open to solutions. They’re great partners.”
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