Net-A-Porter Founder’s Next Act Is A Venture Capital Firm

by MR Magazine Staff

Natalie Massenet said she had planned to keep a low profile after she stepped down in 2015 as the executive chairwoman of Net-a-Porter, the popular luxury e-commerce site she founded. After more than two-and-a-half years away, she is returning to e-commerce — but as a venture capitalist, not a fashion entrepreneur. Ms. Massenet has teamed up with Nick Brown, an investor in consumer start-ups, to form Imaginary Ventures. The new firm announced on Tuesday that it has raised $75 million for its first fund, money that the two expect to pour into direct-to-consumer start-ups like Glossier, which sells beauty product to millennials, and Keeps, a hair-loss prevention company. “I didn’t have a specific plan other than to take a break,” Ms. Massenet said. “But while talking to various entrepreneurs, I found that this was something I enjoyed.” The two are focused on investing in e-commerce start-ups as they have become bigger and attracted takeover interest from existing retailers. The clothier Bonobos sold itself to Walmart for $310 million in June, for example, while the latest investment in mattress maker Casper valued it at $750 million. Read more at The New York Times.