Forerunner Ventures, a San Francisco-based early-stage venture capital firm that targets e-commerce, mobile commerce and social commerce start-ups in the retail space, has closed its first institutionally backed fund of US$40m, managing partner Kirsten Green has announced today.
As well as Green, the all-female investment team at Forerunner, which has been around since 2003, includes principal Eurie Kim and analyst Elyse Cole.
Before founding Forerunner Ventures, Green was an analyst at Montgomery Securities (it’s now part of Bank of America Securities), covering the speciality retail sector.
In a statement today, Forerunner said that, via this US$40m fund it will partner with up to 25 companies, making initial investments in the seed and Series A stage ranging from US$250,000 to US$500,000. It will be targeting e-commerce, mobile commerce and social commerce start-ups in the retail space.
The VC fund believes digital retail is the most dramatic change to hit the retail industry in the last 50 years, with e-commerce sales approaching US$200bn annually in the US alone.
Forerunner is also claiming to be the first firm of its kind to address what it terms this "significant" market evolution.
Apparently the firm has made 21 investments in digital start-ups such as Birchbox, Bonobos, Dollar Shave Club, Joor, Threadflip, Warby Parker and Wantful.
"Not since the proliferation of the malls in the 1990s has the consumer retail sector seen such a meaningful catalyst," said Green today.
"We’re seeing an increasing number of talented entrepreneurs dedicate themselves to this opportunity, further fuelling 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 start-ups and support them in becoming market leaders of the digital commerce revolution," she said.