Direct-to-consumer (DTC) startups have thrived during the past decade. Fueled by venture capital funding, low competition, and abundant advertising opportunities, several companies leveraged this unique business model to achieve unicorn status.
Today, the DTC space is more competitive than ever and investors are savvier – now relying on years of data intelligence to help inform their investing strategies. Industry experts note how brands approach their DTC strategies will ultimately determine just how innovative they are.
Launched in 2019, Austin, Texas-based Springdale Ventures is not only one of the very few VC funds that focuses exclusively on investing in early-stage, transformative consumer businesses, but also part of the 10 percent U.S. VC funds that are led by two or more female General Partners. Springdale Ventures ranked as the youngest and one of the top food and beverage deal makers in 2021, according to PitchBook.
As seasoned entrepreneurs and operators in the consumer space, the firm’s general partners know first-hand what it takes to help accelerate the growth of a consumer brand, making them unique subject-matter experts in CPG.
Below, we explore six exciting DTC brands to watch in 2022. All backed by Springdale Ventures, these up-and-coming companies are building products that inspire.
‘Mac’s back, baby’ may be the tagline prominently displayed on the homepage, but we’d be willing to argue mac and cheese never went anywhere – it simply was made better. Enter Goodles: a reimagined childhood classic that’s full of plant-powered nutrients. The better-for-you mac ‘n’ cheese is also backed by a bold mission: “To celebrate gooders of all kinds: little things with big impact, random acts of kindness, and moments of magic that pop up in the world every now and then.”
With the goal of ‘changing the way we remember life,’ Eterneva is a completely unique business idea that turns ashes into diamonds. Whether it’s a pet or a loved one, now you can memorialize a loved one in the form of a diamond. To start the process, customers can buy an Eterneva Welcome Kit that contains everything you need to safely package up your loved one’s ashes or hair to send back to them.
3. Maxine’s Heavenly
Cookies that you can feel good about eating? Yes, please. Maxine’s Heavenly was inspired by a family-tested recipe passed down through generations. And while the family loved the cookies, they weren’t thrilled with the ingredients over time. They took the original recipe and replaced each ingredient with better-for-you alternatives that preserved the cookie’s special taste while making it nutrient-rich and guilt-free. A win-win.
Judy offers one-of-a-kind emergency kits for all kinds of unique scenarios. From hand crank radios to first aid supplies, the company has everything you need for just-in-case, all in one friendly place. More than 60 percent of Americans have no emergency plan; JUDY is setting out to change that statistic, one ready-kit at a time.
5. Tiny Organics
Tiny Organics takes the guesswork out of baby nutrition. The company offers fresh, organic, ready-to-eat baby and toddler meals, delivered. According to the company’s website, Tiny is “on a mission to shape the palates of a generation to prefer and love vegetables from the earliest days, ensuring children grow up to live their healthiest, happiest lives and prevent chronic diseases later in life.”
‘Cookware without the chemicals.’ That’s the premise of this popular, Instagram-friendly, non-toxic cookware. According to the company’s website, Caraway is “on a mission to craft well-designed home goods that thoughtfully raise the standards of what you cook with. Simply put, our products are designed to make your life easier and healthier.”
Explore more inspiring DTC brands at Springdale Ventures.