13 Venture Capitalists That Earlystage Sports Tech, Health, And Wellness Founders Should Know If They’re Looking To Raise Capital


13 Venture Capitalists That Earlystage Sports Tech, Health, And Wellness Founders Should Know If They’re Looking To Raise Capital

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  • Investors want to work with experienced founders who are motivated by well-defined mission statements.
  • While venture capital funding has slowed, investors are still looking for the next big deal.
  • Founders facing big markets ready to close are among the most sought after.
  • It is still difficult for startups to raise venture capital.

    Project financing in the second quarter fell 23% to $108.5 billion, spread across 7,651 deals, according to CB Insights. This is the biggest quarterly drop in deals in a decade.

    But investors who write their checks to sports, apparel, medical technology and wellness companies are still answering the phone.

    While investment in health care initiatives in particular has slowed, investors are still looking for the next big company because they remain optimistic about downsizing and exiting companies doing everything from increasing the availability of medical data to capitalize on the popularity in the context of collectible convertible sneakers. .

    For example, Oura, which makes a ring that tracks vital information like sleep and heart rate, is in the portfolios of many of the companies listed below. The company raised additional capital in April of $2.55 billion.

    "There's good competition for the best deals," said Steve Ahern, a partner at KB Partners. "The best deals still come with strong valuations."

    Ahern and other venture capitalists who spoke to Insider described similar criteria they were looking for before investing. This includes an experienced and committed founder, a targeted sales drive, and a targeted, preferably giant, disruptive market.

    However, the founders can still expect more due diligence from investors given the current economic climate.

    "We've been more selective with new investments," said Kate Delhagen, founder and president of the Oregon Sports Angels. "You must have a good product and good customers."

    Insider compiled a list of venture capitalists based on industry recommendations and vetted candidates for recent investment activities. Investors range from traditional venture capital firms to angel investors and accelerators designed to prepare promising companies for investment.

    Here is the full list and what every investor is looking for:

    Alison Rowe, Lisa Blau and Amanda Eileen, partners at Apple

    Major investments: Able Partners is focusing on investments in health and wellness companies like Oura, which has announced the sale of more than 1 million of its rings this year. Other recent investments include Bumble, Goop, Spring Health, Chief and Found, Daily Harvest and Blueland.

    How to get their attention: "We look for a strong connection between a founder's experience and the problem they solve," partners Lisa Blau, Amanda Elian, and Alison Rowe said in an email to Insider. The founders we spoke with understand that underserved or disadvantaged and often stigmatized demographics can represent huge opportunities in the marketplace. Founders who catch our eye immediately know their industry, market dynamics, customers, competition and unique economy inside and out and are able to attract, inspire and retain great talent.”

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    Jason Norman, Partner, Concrete Rose Capital

    Key Investments: Concrete Rose invests at the "intersection of sports and technology." Recent investments include the Tradeblock sneaker trading platform, which is offered as an alternative to StockX and Goat. Norman has also led investments in Buzzer, Overtime and Athlytic.

    How to get their attention: "As a former Harvard University basketball player, I know the focus and perseverance it takes to multitask and overcome adversity, which is what I look for in founders. At Concrete Rose, we founders consistently demonstrate the courage and determination required to grow a business, realizing the road will not be easy. Reinventing pathways to wealth and opportunity for underrepresented Black people."

    Joe Finar and Anthony Finar, founders of Vet Capital

    Core Investments: Phet focuses on seed and early stage investments in health, fitness and wellness companies. Recent investments include AnyDistance, Balanced, and Juna.

    How to get their attention: "We are accessible and welcome awareness. It's common for someone to hear about us on our mailing list or podcast before logging in to talk about industry trends, introduce themselves or your company Since we are investing in the earlier stage, we would like to meet the founders who have achieved Pre-Profits as the idea is still taking shape. Current solutions stand out from the crowd.”

    Nicole Johnson, predecessor partner

    Core Investments: Forerunner focuses on companies that serve consumers. Johnson specifically invests in health and wellness startups. His recent investments include Calibrate, DUOS, and Dutch and Buffalo Market, a food distributor specializing in organic and plant-based produce.

    How to get their attention: "Over the past few months, we at Forerunner have been conducting obsessive research into the evolution of the consumer. One key point has emerged: Health and wellness is no longer a separate category, but a priority and priority. For almost all consumers In this category, we look for technologies that facilitate access to healthy lifestyles and management for consumers such as the Dutch or DUOS, with a greater depth of understanding they can provide better health options such as Oura and Calibrate. In addition to Best For You, we prioritize "Best for the Planet" companies committed to sustainability by bringing healthy products to market, such as Eclipse or Buffalo Market, because the health of the planet is increasingly important to consumers.

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    Steve Ahern, Partner, KB Partners

    Key investments: Ahern is a partner at KB Partners in Los Angeles, which, like Concrete Rose, focuses on the intersection of sports and technology. As for KB partners, these are companies that work in human resources, media, sports betting, esports, video games and live events. Recent investments include GridRival, Omorpho, Stadium Live and StatusPRO, a virtual reality gaming company.

    How to get their attention: "While there are a number of successful companies in the sports industry, we are looking for startups that can be combined with companies that define categories with consumer appeal or B2B. Focused individuals and looking for founding teams that offer a unique perspective or experience, or a network that can unlock the opportunities they are looking for.”

    Keith Dillhagen, founder and president of the Oregon Angels Sports Club

    Major Investments: Oregon Sports Angels is a group of entrepreneurs focused on sports products, technology and innovative companies. Recent investments include pine product company Revolin, augmented reality sports company Quintar, recovery product company Alleviate, and cycling app Preem.

    How to Capture the Group's Attention: "Oregon Sports Angels members look for innovative brands with a strong founder (team), a compelling mission, and early-to-market product adoption. We invest in companies with agreed-upon values ​​of diversity, inclusion, and innovation and the key change in OSA 2021-2022 is that we are increasingly looking for companies that consumers and clients consider “must own” versus “good for the rich” and the balance has shifted towards a more important and comprehensive analysis of “friendly relations ”.

    Payam Daniel Abbassian, Director of Path Ahead Ventures

    Key Investments: Last year, outdoor retailer REI launched Path Ahead Ventures, a $30 million fund for Black, First Nations, Hispanic, Asian American and Pacific Islander founders. Path Ahead includes two accelerators and an investment fund. It has invested in three companies this year, including the eco-friendly clothing brand Alder. This year, more investments in foreign and related companies are planned.

    كيفية لفت انتباهه: "ما أن يكون في الخارج يتغير بسرعة وهذا يعني جدد ، وأسواق جديدة وتحديات جديدة وفرص. everywhere ".

    Krista Vorsalla, Senior Investment Partner at Swiftarc Ventures

    Recent Large Investments: Swiftarc is an early-stage investor and invests in consumer and healthcare brands through three funds. Recent investments include Intellihealth and Proudly Weight Management, a company founded by Gabrielle Union and Dwyane Wade that sells products for children with pigmented skin. Swiftarc's portfolio includes Topgolf China and Outdoor Voices.

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    How to get their attention: "We'd like to talk to founders who have deep experience in their chosen industries and have found innovative ways to demonstrate the relevance of their products in the marketplace. The enthusiasm, passion, and dedication these founders have they are contagious, and the first thing that draws us in is learning more about their history and what they are building Throughout the Due diligence process, we strive to work with founders who are open to building strong and transparent partnerships because the entrepreneurial path It's never easy and a sense of partnership rather than just an investment relationship is key to navigating rough waters. One of our three funds."

    Dana Rowley, Mentor Program Coordinator, San Diego Accelerator for Sports Innovators

    Key Accelerator Company: San Diego Sports Innovators is a nonprofit organization that operates the Accelerator Program, a 20-week program that connects sports and active lifestyle business founders with mentors and investors. Applications are generally accepted in January and August. Graduates include surfing, skiing, yoga, rock climbing, running, and cycling. Modern accelerators include CamerEye, an AI-based collection security system; global mountain bike footwear brand Ride Concepts; and Alive Fitness, which offers exercise analysis software that uses artificial intelligence.

    How to get the show's attention: "There are four main criteria we're aiming for: learnability, product validation and appeal, business model viability, and business commitment. The company must also align with our sports sector and lead a lifestyle active and healthy. are looking for companies that are growing Each company is paired with four to six mentors. The accelerator is designed for companies that have had some success and need help."

    Guillermo Chapman, Partner of Amador Holdings

    Key Investments: Amador Holdings launched in Panama in 2020. Initially, it focused on investments in large industries in Latin America that are undergoing digitization. It has recently diversified its portfolio to include software as a service, healthcare, and other investments. He recently invested in Selia, a mental and emotional health app.

    How to get their attention: "Due to the recent digitalization in Latin America and the development of a strong technological infrastructure, many sectors have been shaken. Amador has many times had to face the evaluation of competing companies and find the right founding team. They They not only need to know the industry and business model, but also be strong employees and salespeople, know how and when to raise money, and negotiate the right terms with the right partners.”

    91. Chloe Steinberg, Sapphire Sports Partner

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