We’re excited to announce our investment in Cap Hill Brands, a Seattle startup with the mission to build a next-generation CPG company by acquiring and operating digitally-native consumer brands. Combining the investment capital of a private equity firm and the deep operational experience of a startup accelerator, Cap Hill can lead brands to new levels of growth online.
Over the past decade, we have seen an explosion of digitally-native consumer brands built on top of Amazon Marketplace, Wal-Mart, Shopify and other platforms. There are literally millions of entrepreneurs who have created innovative products and built businesses with hundreds of thousands, even millions of dollars, in revenue. But after scaling quickly, some of these entrepreneurs feel that they’ve taken the business as far as they can and want to find the right steward to take it to the next level. However, there hasn’t been much liquidity in the market for these types of businesses.
In comes Cap Hill…Cap Hill has raised $150M in capital via a mix of debt (from Victory Park Capital) and equity (led by our friends at Maveron with participation by Version One) to go after this opportunity. The company is led by two of the best e-commerce operators and entrepreneurs we know, Kevin Saliba and Jason LeeKeenan. They worked together at Zulily, one of the original e-commerce success stories.
Cap Hill will have already closed on about ten acquisitions by the end of this month… from educational products (Merka) and bean bags and fairy wings (Butterfly Craze), to a wearable sprayer-scrubber that makes it easy to clean a dog in the shower (Aquapaw). And they plan to continue moving very aggressively, working with e-commerce businesses of all sizes and structures.
Commerce today is very different than it was just a decade ago. Starting a new consumer brand has never been easier: global manufacturing infrastructure lets you produce your products cheaply and quickly; marketplace and commerce platforms get you to consumers directly; and warehousing and shipping services help you fulfill orders. It is one of the great entrepreneurial opportunities of our times and Cap Hill is quickly becoming a trusted partner to some of those entrepreneurs, building a next-generation CPG company along the way. We’re excited to be a part of the journey!