How Success Happened for Nick Brown, Co-Founder of Imaginary Ventures

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Nick Brown is the co-founder and managing partner of Imaginary Ventures, a venture capital firm focused on the intersection of technology and retail. Founded in 2018 in partnership with former Net-A-Porter CEO Natalie Massenet, the Imaginary portfolio includes some of the industry’s most recognized and defined brands, platforms and entrepreneurs.

Nick Brown

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Entrepreneurship has been a major theme throughout Brown’s life since a young age, having seen the risk and reward emerge when he left his father a long job to go out on his own. This experience instilled in Brown a fundamental understanding that it is only natural to want to build a business from the ground up. It was this entrepreneurial spirit that led Brown to question his path as an analyst, a job he jumped into after graduating from Harvard. He soon realized that it was the creative elements of finance that he found exciting, and he began to gravitate toward consumer product deals that spoke of the broader transformations taking place in retail and e-commerce.

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Brown decided to take a leap of faith professionally in search of an opportunity that allowed him to have a more hands-on role in the innovation and change taking place across the consumer industries. This eventually led to Brown joining 14W, where he was instrumental in defining and supporting founders and brands to redefine the retail industry through innovative direct-to-consumer models. In this role, Brown led the company’s investments in seed funding rounds for brands including Goop, Outdoor Voices, Moda Operandi and The Real Estate. Through these projects, he gained a deep understanding of what it would take for a brand to succeed in the rapidly evolving consumer world of tomorrow.

In 2017, Brown linked up with Natalie Massenet, the e-commerce pioneer who redefined the luxury retail industry when she launched Net-A-Porter in 2000. Braun recognized her unique ability to build a team and think about future retail trends, learning that she started a shell A venture capital firm, he offered to bring his expertise as an early stage investor in consumer businesses to his experience as an operator that transformed a startup into a multibillion dollar global retailer. After two years of working on deals together, Brown and Macienet realized “the opportunity to build a great company focused on the customer journey and customer portfolio in a unique way,” and Imaginary Ventures was born.

Along with Massenet, Brown Imaginary Ventures has developed to include two funds that support visions and brands that are redefining the consumer world, including Everlane, Reformation, Glossier, SKIMS, FarFetch, Universal Standard, Daily Harvest and others. The combined expertise of Brown and Macenet brings unparalleled edge, a different perspective, an immersive network and consumers’ deep and diverse understanding of their portfolio companies.

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