C2V April 2020 Notes from the Trenches

Welcome back to the C2 Ventures monthly newsletter.  We hope you and your loved ones are managing as best as possible during this time. COVID-19 has impacted just about everyone and everything in our communities and in our professional lives.  

In the Trenches Together During Crisis

As a founder myself, I think about all the CEOs that were either just about to launch their start-up, in the middle of fundraising, or their company is up and running with employees and they are doing their best to manage the headwinds and stay the course.  It’s not easy and we hope each of you are leaning into your trusted circles to help answer the difficult questions at hand. 

At this stage, we all need to be in the trenches together. If any startup founder wants advice, guidance or a mental boost whether we invested in your company or not (or even passed), it’s perfectly fine to reach out and we will make the time. 

At C2V, we have been spending a lot of time with our portfolio CEOs on topics like cash management, employee morale, fundraising timing and adopting new sales strategies to navigate during COVID.   

In addition to helping our founders manage the turbulent day-to-day, we took a quick step back to try and look at the pandemic experience holistically and share some thoughts on what we can and should learn from this experience so that we can better navigate the next one. 

In Matt’s Medium post, which will go live in the next few days, he dives into five lessons from the lockdown (there may or may not be some Tiger King commentary as well):

  1. It Can Happen Here

  2. Data and Transparency Are Critical

  3. Uncertainty is Always Worse Than Bad News

  4. Don't Politicize Everything

  5. Do Not Spread Misinformation 

Not All Doom & Gloom

There are a lot of industries that are being affected more than others, but those in the fitness and wellness industry seem to be on steady ground.

C2V portfolio company Otari has a unique opportunity to grow given the explosion of home fitness and massive disruption to the fitness studio space, and are now taking pre-orders.

C2V portfolio company Beam, who makes CBD products and sells DTC, just announced an investment from Danica Patrick and is growing its revenue in this climate.

The Newest Addition to Our Portfolio

While things have slowed down, C2V still believes there is plenty of opportunity in the startup community and incredible companies will be built through the ashes of this global pandemic. 

As investors, we believe in investing in socially and culturally relevant startups, and as we continue to grow our portfolio, we are pleased to announce our newest addition, Rens Original, a direct-to-consumer sneaker brand started in Helsinki Finland.  

Their waterproof shoes made from coffee grounds and recycled plastic are 80% more environmentally friendly than leather shoes, and 60% better than textile. We’re proud to be backing a brand that is making a positive contribution to the environment.

Binge Watch Some C2V

And finally, while there are a lot of choices when it comes to content consumption as we are all quarantined Matt and Chris have 3 recommendations after your Tiger King binge-watching:

1) Superpowers Podcast Season 2
Chris and Bill Wise are back in action! The first three episodes have already been published and include Michael Katz, CEO and Co-Founder of mParticle, Deirdre Lester, Chief Revenue Officer of Barstool Sports and Beeswax CEO and AdTech pioneer Ari Paparo. Head over to the Superpowers website to find the streaming channel of your choice and learn the secret abilities of these awesome people.

2) Lessons from the Lockdown

During this very unique and trying time, we are excited about our latest video series Lessons from the Lockdown. We bring some much-needed levity and guidance.

Chris has been interviewing his network discussing how everyone is staying sane, spending their time and conducting business during our moments of isolation. Give the videos a watch, gain some perspective, and most importantly have a few much-needed laughs.

3) Digital Stories Summit Breakout Session

We teamed up with Michael Ly from Reconciled and Buda Yao from Justworks and do a digital breakout session on How to Manage Remote Teams.

Be safe, stay healthy and stay home.