From time to time we get asked by our business partners if we can help introduce them to future investors in the startup space, or if we are aware of certain investors who have a category specialisation. This is always a fascinating question as the whole space is continually evolving. On this occasion because we had some new starters in the business a few unfamiliar names popped up.
We are used to investors specialising in a category such as FMCG, or a specific tech, but until then we were ignorant of an investor specialising in startups that drive socialisation. We had of course heard about investors who invest in social media, but never socialisation across other categories. Their investments span brands such as Wave who create virtual concerts for worldwide audiences, or Fever the Netflix of experiences in your city, or Common a private room rental business in beautiful, friendly shared housing.
The investment company is Convivialité Ventures who invest in startups who are shaping the future of convivialité or socialisation. They are based in San Francisco, but invest internationally and are part of Pernod Ricard the global drinks giant. Convivialité Ventures were formed in 2017 so we were a bit slow to the party discovering them, but better late than never as they have made some great digital startup investments.
What’s great to see is that this venture arm dramatises Pernod Ricard’s single minded strategy beautifully, which is to be the ‘Creators of Convivialité’ in all that they do. It’s nice to see that they are investing in digital startups outside the branded drinks category that they know so well.
The venture arm invests in five key areas within socialisation and these are real-life social networks, augmented home entertainment, redefining the retail experience, virtual togetherness and conscious hedonism.
Any company that the venture arm invests in not only receives cash, but a wealth of global contacts, insight and marketing might. They are also hugely interested in digital product developments so you never know.