The Key Factors Bessemer Venture Partners Considers for Consumer Goods Startups

Discover the essential factors that Bessemer Venture Partners takes into account when investing in consumer goods startups.

Posted May 21, 2023

Consumer goods startups have become an increasingly attractive investment opportunity for venture capitalists in recent years. With the surge in consumer demand for innovative and high-quality products, many startups have emerged in the market, presenting a wealth of potential for investors. Among these investors is Bessemer Venture Partners, a prominent venture capital firm that has made significant investments in consumer goods startups. In this article, we explore the key factors that Bessemer Venture Partners considers when evaluating consumer goods startups for investment.

Why Consumer Goods Startups are Attractive to Investors

Consumer goods startups offer attractive investment opportunities because they have the potential to reach a vast and diverse market. In contrast to other startup sectors, such as software, consumer goods startups have a tangible product that can be marketed and sold to customers. Furthermore, consumer goods startups often have strong brand recognition and a loyal customer base, providing a stable foundation for growth. Because of these factors, consumer goods startups have become a focal point for venture capitalists looking to invest in the next big thing.

Another reason why consumer goods startups are attractive to investors is that they often have a lower barrier to entry compared to other industries. With the rise of e-commerce and social media, it has become easier for startups to reach potential customers and build a brand without the need for a physical storefront or expensive advertising campaigns. This means that consumer goods startups can often launch with a smaller initial investment, making them more accessible to a wider range of investors. Additionally, the potential for high profit margins in the consumer goods industry makes it an appealing option for investors looking for a strong return on their investment.

Bessemer Venture Partners: A Brief Overview

Bessemer Venture Partners is a notable venture capital firm that has been involved in funding some of the world's leading companies. Founded in 1911, Bessemer has invested in over 120 IPOs and has been involved in the funding of many well-known companies such as Twilio, Shopify, and Pinterest. With a focus on growth-stage investments, Bessemer looks for innovative and fast-growing startups that have the potential to achieve market dominance.

In addition to its impressive track record of successful investments, Bessemer Venture Partners is also known for its commitment to diversity and inclusion. The firm has made a conscious effort to invest in companies led by underrepresented founders, and has even created a Diversity & Inclusion Advisory Board to help guide its efforts in this area. Bessemer recognizes that diverse perspectives and experiences are essential to driving innovation and creating successful businesses, and is dedicated to supporting a more inclusive startup ecosystem.

Understanding the Investment Criteria of Bessemer Venture Partners

When evaluating consumer goods startups for investment, Bessemer considers several critical factors. These factors include market size, product differentiation, branding, distribution channels, founder and team experience, and the due diligence process.

Additionally, Bessemer Venture Partners places a strong emphasis on the potential for long-term growth and scalability of the startup. They look for companies that have the potential to disrupt their industry and create new markets. Bessemer also values startups that have a clear understanding of their target audience and have a solid plan for customer acquisition and retention.

The Importance of Market Size for Consumer Goods Startups

Bessemer prioritizes startups that are targeting large and growing markets. In the case of consumer goods startups, the size of the market is an important consideration. Bessemer looks for startups that have a clear understanding of their target customers and can demonstrate a significant potential market size with projections of future growth. This is because a large market size ensures that the company can scale quickly and generate substantial returns for investors.

Furthermore, having a large market size also allows consumer goods startups to have a competitive advantage. With a larger market, there is more room for innovation and differentiation, which can help the startup stand out from competitors. Additionally, a larger market size means that there is a greater potential for partnerships and collaborations with other companies in the industry, which can lead to increased exposure and growth opportunities.

How Bessemer Venture Partners Evaluates Product Differentiation for Consumer Goods Startups

Product differentiation is a crucial factor that Bessemer considers when evaluating consumer goods startups. With so many competitors on the market, a startup must have a unique value proposition that sets it apart from the competition. Bessemer looks for companies that have developed an innovative product that solves a real problem or fulfills a significant need in the market. Such products are more likely to have a competitive advantage and are better positioned for success.

In addition to product differentiation, Bessemer also evaluates the scalability of a startup's product. A product that can be easily scaled to meet increasing demand is more attractive to investors. Startups that have a clear plan for scaling their product and have already demonstrated success in doing so are more likely to receive funding from Bessemer.

Another factor that Bessemer considers is the team behind the product. A strong and experienced team with a track record of success is more likely to execute on their vision and bring their product to market successfully. Bessemer looks for teams that have a deep understanding of their target market and have a clear plan for reaching and engaging with customers.

The Role of Branding in Consumer Goods Startup Investments

The importance of branding is not lost on Bessemer when evaluating consumer goods startups. A strong brand is a key differentiator for startups in a crowded market. Bessemer looks for startups that have developed a powerful brand that resonates with their target customer base. Companies with a strong brand have an advantage in creating customer loyalty and increasing market share.

Furthermore, a strong brand can also help startups attract top talent and investors. A well-known and respected brand can make a startup more appealing to potential employees and investors, as it signals a level of credibility and success. This can be especially important for startups that are competing for talent and funding in a highly competitive market.

However, building a strong brand is not easy and requires a significant investment of time and resources. Startups must carefully craft their brand identity and messaging, and consistently communicate it across all channels. This includes everything from their website and social media presence to their packaging and product design. But for those startups that are able to successfully build a strong brand, the rewards can be significant.

The Impact of Distribution Channels on Investment Decisions for Consumer Goods Startups

Another essential factor that Bessemer considers is the distribution channels used by a startup to reach their target market. Successful consumer goods startups must have a clear strategy for getting their products to customers. Bessemer evaluates startups based on how effective their distribution channels are, including whether they have created partnerships with key retailers or are selling direct to consumers. A well-executed distribution strategy maximizes a company's reach and growth potential.

The Significance of Founder and Team Experience for Bessemer Venture Partners

Founder and team experience are critical factors that Bessemer considers when investing in startups. Startups with experienced founders or teams who have solid industry experience are more likely to execute on their business plan successfully. Additionally, founders and teams with a proven track record of success are more likely to attract additional investment and access to key partnerships and resources.

Examining the Due Diligence Process for Consumer Goods Startup Investments by Bessemer Venture Partners

Bessemer undergoes a rigorous due diligence process before making an investment in a consumer goods startup. This process involves analyzing the startup's financial history, market potential, product roadmap, competitive landscape, and more. A thorough due diligence process helps to ensure that the startup has a solid business plan and is poised for long-term success.

Common Mistakes Made by Consumer Goods Startups that Lead to Rejection by Bessemer Venture Partners

Despite the potential for success in the consumer goods startup sector, mistakes made by these startups can lead to rejection by investors such as Bessemer. Common mistakes include failing to identify a unique value proposition, targeting a small or shrinking market, poor brand development, lack of an effective distribution strategy, underestimating the competition, and having an inexperienced team.

Real Examples of Successful Consumer Goods Startups Funded by Bessemer Venture Partners

One example of a successful consumer goods startup invested in by Bessemer is Blue Apron, a meal kit delivery service. Blue Apron has experienced significant growth since its founding in 2012, with revenue exceeding $1 billion by 2018. Another example is, a home renovation marketplace, which received $33 million in funding from Bessemer in 2019.


With a keen eye for innovation and a focus on long-term success, Bessemer Venture Partners evaluates consumer goods startups with a range of criteria. From market size and product differentiation to branding and distribution channels, a variety of factors are considered before making an investment decision. Successful consumer goods startups often have a unique product or service that solves a real problem or fulfills a significant need in the market, combined with a strong brand and experienced team. By taking these factors into account, Bessemer is well-positioned to fund the next big thing in the consumer goods sector.

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