A social platform founded last year to connect investors with food startups is leveling up its educational offerings.
Brandjectory — an online platform launched in May 2020 by industry veterans at Battle Creek-based food and beverage innovation and commercialization group JPG Resources, Lincolnshire, Illinois-based consumer packaged goods (CPG) industry advisory firm The Movitz Group, and Scottsdale, Arizona-based natural foods investment office The Litchfield Fund to connect early-stage CPG brands seeking to raise capital with investors — has expanded its offerings with the introduction of The Brandjectory Knowledge Base and several other new features.
The enhancements include articles by experts; more Brandjectory events, including signature brand/investor meetups to help strengthen relationships between founders and investors; and diagnostic reviews of brand user profiles by the platform’s team of industry experts to help founders increase their effectiveness with targeted investors.
When Brandjectory launched, its purpose was to help brands and investors connect easily, efficiently and purposefully. As the relationship-based platform has grown, it has expanded to educating and guiding brand founders to give them more control over their growth trajectory.
“As budding CPG brands utilized the platform, its founders required more support, education and guidance to effectively navigate the capital raise process, while investors sought brands that were ready to hit the ground running,” said Tom Malengo, Brandjectory co-founder and partner at The Litchfield Fund. “This insight led us to create The Knowledge Base, a collection of hundreds of articles crafted from a unique CPG investor lens for founders to become investor-ready at their own pace. Primarily written by our team of industry experts, each piece of content sets founders up for success, with a distinct investor-forward viewpoint that better enables brands to make the most of every investor interaction. It includes everything from understanding investor expectations to negotiating a transaction successfully and preparing for post-deal responsibilities.”
Added Glenn Pappalardo, another Brandjectory co-founder and managing partner of JPG Resources: “The feedback we were getting from investors was, it’s great you’re building this platform. It’s great that we have an easier way to discover and connect with these brands. What would also be great is if, especially for those who are doing this for the first time, you could help them be even better prepared. That would help them and us.”
The Knowledge Base is designed to help brand founders master the building blocks of being investor-ready and offers 10 master subjects and 65 need-to-know topics. In addition, the platform provides a menu of new features and services for brands and investors, including:
- Investor-centric brand profile templates to clearly present what matters most to them, supported with context-specific guidance by field and easily updated in real time with brand news and achievements
- Ability to be discovered by, and communicate with, investors
- One-click investor request for product samples
- Invitations to Brandjectory events, including signature brand/investor meetups
- Access to the Brandjectory brand founder and investor communities, including discussion groups
- A full suite of best practice templates, such as business planning, investor pitching and more
- Curated industry news and event notices
- Access to webinars, blogs and podcasts
- Opportunities to be highlighted in platform events, media assets and with Brandjectory media partners
Brandjectory offers basic and premium plans. The basic plan ($179 per year) helps startups and emerging CPG brands build a strong business foundation, prepare to raise capital and understand how investors review targets. The premium plan ($379 per year) grants access to Brandjectory’s full suite of features and functions, including the entirety of the new Knowledge Base and exclusive founder and investor small group meetups, to supercharge and prepare founders who are ready to capital raise to actively promote their companies to investors.
“What we’ve tried to do is stratify The Knowledge Base, such that there are certain topics and levels of detail available to basic users that will help them on the journey to being ready to be a premium user,” Pappalardo said. “The big distinction there is when you go premium, you’re now fully visible to the investor community on Brandjectory. So, after getting back that investor feedback of, ‘Hey, it would be great if they’re super prepared,’ what we’re trying to do is help make sure that every brand that becomes visible has its best face showing. We’re trying to give them, as basic users, enough guidance and knowledge to get them to that point, and then once they flip that switch and become premium, there is a whole other tier or realm of information and guidance that they can access.”
Today, Brandjectory hosts almost 200 brands across multiple CPG product types and 50 CPG investors across numerous classifications.
Among brands, 25% are beverages (including alcohol), 21% are snacks/treats/bars, 15% are center store packaged goods, 14% are dairy/frozen and 13% are nutrition/personal care/pet care. The vast majority leverage trending attributes and claims, including vegan, allergen-friendly, low/no sugar, high/good source of protein, woman/student/minority owned, grain- and hormone-free, and many more.
Among investors, 46% self-classify as traditional private equity/venture capital, 40% are angel investors or family offices, and 14% are strategics or other types.
On Aug. 30, Brandjectory celebrated the launch of its enhanced features and offerings by hosting a digital meetup open to all members.
In October, there will be additional virtual events for premium plan members and basic plan holders to give both groups a level of exposure to investors. Following this, regular meetups will be held throughout the year.
“What we continue to be pleasantly surprised by is the support and enthusiasm of both communities, investors and brands, for the idea of what we’re trying to do, and in particular, how that shows through when we do our events,” Pappalardo said. “I’m always enthused and take satisfaction from both the attendance levels that we get for our events and the fact that we get repeat attendees (among) both brand and investors. Investors don’t like to waste time. So, when you have prominent investors in the food and beverage space coming back time and again to join the event, they wouldn’t do that if they didn’t see something there, if it wasn’t fulfilling a need for them as well. We have a core of probably 15 investors who have made almost every event that we’ve done so far, and I’d say about half the brands each time or maybe more are repeat attendees. … That tells us we’re on the right course.”
Michael Movitz, Brandjectory co-founder and managing partner of The Movitz Group, said the Brandjectory team recognizes the importance of live dialogue and connecting face to face.
“Brandjectory’s events and functionality make this easy for brands and investors, while at the same time Brandjectory’s technology also enables interaction and efficient communication between meetings,” he said.
“Further, there are no screenings or approvals before members are allowed to join, which eliminates any disparities or biases present in alternative methods available to brands and investors for connecting. We are honored to welcome everyone to be a part of our growing community and tap into our improved features to give founders the tools they need to be successful and efficient in getting their brands investor-ready.”
More information about Brandjectory is at brandjectorynow.com.