Executive Briefing

Kirsten Green helped make the direct to consumer boom happen. Here’s where she wants to invest today.

The Forerunner Ventures founder on where the consumer — and the opportunity — is going in 2020.

Kirsten Green Forerunner Ventures
Courtesy Forerunner Ventures

Kirsten Green’s Forerunner Ventures has been one of the most prolific and successful venture capital investors in the new consumer economy over the past decade, placing early bets on companies like Dollar Shave Club, Warby Parker, Glossier, Away, and many other modern brands.

But recently I had noticed a different, broader focus in Forerunner investments: More technology deals — like Narvar, a back-end tool for retailers, and MakerSights, a “product decision engine for retail” — and proportionally fewer investments directly in consumer brands. I wondered if Forerunner, which fueled the trend of direct to consumer e-commerce, might be moving away from it — and if so, why.

In an interview with The New Consumer, Green says Forerunner hasn’t changed its strategy. It’s still investing in direct to consumer brands, including a recent investment in Sunday, a new spin on lawn care, and modern retailers, like Neighborhood Goods.

But things have changed since 2012 — the market has changed, Forerunner’s interests have broadened, and Green says the firm has a “different lens” in how it’s looking at consumer brands.

We spoke about Green’s current thinking, how she sees the consumer market evolving, and some areas where she has been investing. I’ve lightly edited the transcript for length and clarity.

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Dan Frommer

Hi, I’m Dan Frommer and this is The New Consumer, a publication about how and why people spend their time and money.

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