Foundry, the brand platform that acquires, nurtures and grows enduring online brands, officially launches today with $100 million in debt-free equity capital from LightBay Capital and Monogram Capital Partners. The funds will be used to selectively build a robust portfolio of omni-digital brands, hire new team members, and deploy its data-driven technology platform designed to cultivate lasting brands. This patient capital structure allows Foundry to unlock the potential of brands and create long-lasting relationships with founders to support their next big idea and advance their legacies.
COVID-19 has brought about the massive acceleration of e-commerce adoption — global e-commerce revenue is expected to reach $6.54 trillion. Yet small and medium-sized brands without the resources and capital to scale and compete are being left behind.
To help these brands win on a global scale, Foundry has built several first-of-its-kind assets that draw from its uniquely experienced team of both direct-to-consumer (“D2C”) e-commerce executives and former Amazon and Walmart executives; its data-driven technology platform; and its ethos that great founders can and should have multiple liquidity opportunities. Foundry is creating a powerful portfolio of highly-selective brands and helping them leapfrog the challenges of business ownership, while continuing to work with its entrepreneurs post acquisition to help them in their future endeavors and pursuits.
“Our aim with Foundry is simple — we want to transform the lives of founders with a pledge to unlock the massive potential of their brands so they can achieve life-changing exits and build multiple legacies,” said Helen Vaid, CEO of Foundry. “We are focused on building omni-digital brands that are essential to the households that buy them, and Foundry is uniquely positioned to bring the capital, the commitment and the capabilities to scale these brands beyond a founder’s wildest dreams. We operate knowing that the sum of our efforts is greater than the individual parts, and with this we envision a future where Foundry redefines the standard for how great brands are built.”
Foundry targets brands with revenue ranging from $1 to $50 million that will be loved and used by customers every day across categories such as home & kitchen, pets, outdoor & fitness and beauty. To identify and scale those brands that will ultimately become lasting names, Foundry has created a toolkit to enhance marketing, product development and technology.
While channel agnostic, Foundry accelerates the brand’s growth by optimizing it for third party marketplaces like Amazon and Walmart by improving product pages and marketing. It will also enable brands to expand across D2C e-commerce channels, ramping up new product development and improving cost structures to help companies run smarter. Foundry is deploying a proprietary and back-tested ScoreCard Assessment of 29 key quantitative and qualitative metrics to vet brands’ qualities like scalability, durability and growth potential. Foundry will also offer flexible purchase arrangements that allow brand owners to maintain a portion of their equity and have ongoing participation, as desired.
The leadership team consists of:
- Helen Vaid, CEO, was previously Chief Global Customer Officer at Pizza Hut, where she set up “Pizza Hut Digital Ventures” an in-house incubator that built and scaled their e-commerce platform globally and launched Team member applications that helped digitize store operations leveraging AI and ML– these solutions have been scaled across the globe. Ms. Vaid also served as Vice President, Digital Store Operations & Experience, Web & Mobile at Walmart, where she was responsible for US e-commerce across all platforms and channels. Her international career has spanned startups and global corporations, in retail and CPG, and she was the first international employee at Snapfish prior to the company’s acquisition by Hewlett-Packard. She serves on the board of Groupon, where she is passionate about championing local small businesses and entrepreneurs.
- Tom Shipley, President & Co-Founder, has built brands such as Hydroxatone and Keranique that have sold over $2 billion through e-commerce and D2C and become household names.
- Stefan Haney, Strategic Advisor, Interim CTO, was a key leader in building Amazon’s Seller Central and Marketplace as it grew from $9 billion to over $160 billion. He brings a proven track record of launching new technology in a variety of industries.
- Kyle Walker, Chief Acquisition Officer & Co-Founder, managed some of Amazon’s most successful brands, creating two brand accelerators where he oversaw 10,000 brands go from early stage/smaller startups to longer-term, enduring brands.
- Matt Rhodes, Chief Development Officer & Co-Founder, is an experienced investor in digital brands and e-commerce. He previously worked in the private equity group of Ares Management, a publicly traded global asset management firm.
“Our team is committed to championing great founders who build brands that households can’t live without. Brands like that can be born anywhere online today, whether that is on Amazon, Shopify, Instagram or a D2C channel. Those brands simply need access to the best capabilities to thrive. What sets Foundry apart is that we are a team of seasoned operators with the talent and experience to not only identify brands with massive potential to grow across multiple channels, but also build brands that will endure the test of time. We are excited to be partnering with the LightBay and Monogram teams on this journey,” said Tom Shipley, President and Co-Founder of Foundry.
“Foundry’s team has the sourcing expertise, growth playbook and digital know how to build a portfolio of brands with marketplace and category dominance,” said Adam Stein, Co-Founder and Partner of LightBay Capital. “Foundry’s mission of accelerating the growth of founder-led brands aligns well with our philosophy of making a transformational impact on our people, our companies and our communities. We are delighted to be partnering with the Foundry leadership team and Monogram Capital as long-term investors in the company.”
“Foundry is powering online retail forward, and we’re thrilled to back the team as they build one of the strongest consumer brand portfolios on the market,” said Jared Stein, Co-Founder and Partner of Monogram Capital Partners. Added Oliver Nordlinger, Co-Founder and Partner of Monogram Capital Partners, “Foundry’s commitment to providing entrepreneurs with the next generation of platform data, experience and shared resources to build the next chapter of their brand’s legacy is one of many reasons why we at Monogram were drawn to Foundry. As a founder-focused firm, we can’t wait to see the incredible impact Helen and the team will have in supporting the growth of these digital brands.”
Foundry is a brand acquisition platform setting a new standard for e-commerce performance and brand excellence with its data-driven technology platform. The team finds exceptional online businesses and nurtures them into epic, enduring brands to curate a selective portfolio of companies that households depend on to make life better. Founded by the group who helped build Amazon Marketplace, in addition to founders of transformational e-commerce and D2C brands, Foundry partners with entrepreneurs for the long term. It aims to profitably scale online brands to build the leading collection of top consumer companies with private equity, continuous resources, a vast network and unmatched experience. For more information, please visit www.foundrybrands.com.
About LightBay Capital
LightBay Capital is a Los Angeles-based growth-focused private equity firm that applies a flexible capital approach to middle-market investing. Primarily focused on the healthcare, consumer, and business services industries, LightBay invests across the capital structure and in all market environments to help accelerate the growth of high-quality companies. For more information, please visit www.lightbay.com.
About Monogram Capital Partners
Headquartered in Los Angeles, CA and founded in 2014, Monogram Capital Partners focuses exclusively on investing in high-growth consumer brands and service providers. With more than $500 million of assets under management, the firm seeks to partner with inspirational founders and talented management teams across the consumer ecosystem. Foundry represents Monogram’s twenty-ninth portfolio company. To learn more about Monogram, please visit: www.monogramcapital.com.