Forerunner Ventures Closes $40 Million Fund To Invest in The Next Generation of Digital Commerce Startups

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Not since the proliferation of the malls in the 1990’s has the consumer retail sector seen such a meaningful catalyst.

Forerunner Ventures, an early-stage venture capital firm dedicated to partnering with entrepreneurs leading the digital commerce revolution, has closed its first institutionally backed fund of $40 million. With over a decade of related experience, the Forerunner team offers a distinct edge in understanding brand and product, anticipating consumer behaviors, navigating the retail landscape and helping scale development-stage companies. From this new fund, Forerunner will partner with up to 25 companies, making initial investments in the seed and Series A stage ranging from $250,000-$500,000.

Forerunner believes digital retail is the most dramatic change to hit the retail industry in the last 50 years, with ecommerce sales approaching $200B annually in the United States and eventually expected to reach 15% to 20% of global retail sales(1). Forerunner Ventures is the first firm of its kind addressing this significant market evolution. The firm defines digital commerce companies as those focused on e-commerce, mobile commerce and social commerce as well as companies focused on enabling technologies and services that are designed to propel the growth of the sector. To date, the firm has made 21 investments in some of the most exciting companies in the category, including: Birchbox, Bonobos, Dollar Shave Club, Joor, Threadflip, Warby Parker and Wantful.

“Not since the proliferation of the malls in the 1990’s has the consumer retail sector seen such a meaningful catalyst,” said Kirsten Green, Founder and Managing Partner of Forerunner Ventures. “We’re seeing an increasing number of talented entrepreneurs dedicate themselves to this opportunity, further fueling overall innovation and category growth. We’re at an inflection point, and it is our firm’s mission to partner with the most promising of these startups and support them in becoming market leaders of the digital commerce revolution.”

“Birchbox is fortunate to have partnered with top investors, and when we look at Forerunner Ventures, they provide a very unique and meaningful investor perspective. It is in their DNA to stay on the pulse of innovation and bring overarching retail perspective to the table,” said Katia Beauchamp, co-Founder of Birchbox. “Their value add as an investor and advisor is unmatched because of their expertise.”

About Forerunner Ventures

Forerunner Ventures is an early-stage VC firm dedicated to partnering with ambitious entrepreneurs who are meeting the challenges and opportunities of today’s rapidly evolving digital commerce landscape. The Forerunner team brings deep domain focus, understanding of consumer behaviors, and product and brand building expertise to successfully identify and help scale early-stage consumer companies. For more information, please visit

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Karen To

(1) Bain & Company, Holiday Newsletter #6 - January 17, 2012

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