Natalie Massenet & Nick Brown Form Venture Firm Imaginary Ventures
Last week, DM Fashion Book announced that Natalie Massenet has joined Net-A-Porter competitor Farfetch as the Non-Executive Co-Chairman (see it here).
We first reported that the Net-A-Porter founder resigned from the online fashion retailer prior to its planned merger with Yook (see the full story here). Following the official merger, YOOK Net-a-Porter Group promoted Alison Loehnis to president of The Net-a-Porter Group. She reports directly to CEO Federico Marchetti. In her new role, Loehnis oversees Net-a-Porter.com, Mr Porter.com, and PORTER magazine (see it here).
In November of 2015, we reported that Massenet has registered a new company called Imaginary Ventures Ltd. The company has been registered in the U.K. Paperwork was filed at Companies House, the official registry of all U.K. businesses (see it here).
The Net-A-Porter founder and chairman of the British Fashion Council is gearing up to take on her next role: venture capitalist.
According to WWD, “Massenet is partnering with Nick Brown, a partner at venture capital firm 14W, to launch Imaginary Ventures later this spring, the source said. The firm will invest across different categories in the e-commerce space, including retail, fashion, lifestyle and beauty.”
WWD reached to Brown and he said he “can’t speak about any activities at this time.”
It’s rumored that Farfetch, as well as Daily Harvest and Dirty Lemon, are among the first companies Massenet and Brown will invest in.
“They will invest across different categories, [even though] the first two speculative investments just happen to not be in the fashion space,” said an individual with knowledge of the start-up scene.
“They added that an initial alignment with Farfetch is a powerful first step in solidifying Imaginary’s positioning as a viable player in the venture capital space.”
Brown is expected to part ways with 14W to focus on Imaginary Ventures, the source said.
According to a source in the venture space, Massenet and Brown are actively talking to investors, and have met with 40 to 50 already. The amount of the fund they’re looking to raise is unknown, but it is said to be “sizable.” Whether the firm will be based in London, where Massenet lives, or New York, where Brown resides, is also unknown at this time.
Photos Credit: AP