Blue Scorpion is not your typical early-stage venture capital firm. Gautam Ahuja and Jamison Ernest, the co-founders and general partners of the company, place a premium on their personal values and connections with brands, using authenticity as a form of quality control.
With their super-user ethos and hands-on approach, Blue Scorpion offers not only financial, but brand based conceptual and creative value to each company in their rapidly growing yet selective portfolio.
Ahuja and Ernest make a powerful duo, with backgrounds in investment banking and creative direction; the two are able to see from different yet vital perspectives. “We have this cool dynamic,” says Ahuja. “We understand and respect each other and have to be 100% in agreement on every single investment. We have different lenses, but we’ve also learned alot from each other.”
Since its inception in 2015, Ahuja and Ernest have been the force behind some of your favorite brands such as Van Leeuwen, the trendy artisan and vegan ice cream brand; Quip, the first subscription based oral hygiene company and chosen as one of Time Magazines top inventions; Thursday Boots, one of the fastest growing online footwear brands; and Back to the Roots; the #1 organic gardening company in the USA with a mission to increase the awareness about the origin and relationship with food.
For each of these companies, Ahuja and Ernest became users and patrons of their products, promoting them with genuine loyalty to their brand. “We have to be passionate about the product or else we can’t honestly tell people to use it.” says Ernest.
“You’d be surprised how many VCs I’ve talked to who have never used the product,” notes Ahuja, Blue Scorpion’s savant-level number’s guy to Ernest’s savvy, marketing guru. “It’s amazing; sometimes they don’t even know about the product, they just see numbers.” For instance, Ernest would hangrily stalk the streets of SoHo looking for a fix of Van Leeuwen when the company was just starting out as a word-of-mouth food truck. The ice cream was vegan-identified and pricey by comparison, largely before this lactose intolerant movement broke into mainstream consciousness.
With the help of Blue Scorpion, Van Leeuwen now boasts 37 locations with 20 new stores opening throughout 2023. They’re currently carried in most major supermarkets across the usa, including Walmart, expanding the brands footprint from its brick and mortar locations.
“It can be tempting for other investors to invest in as many startups as possible, hoping that they’ll get lucky and one will become the next big thing, it’s called the spray and pray method. But, that’s absolutely not our philosophy or DNA, top research has been proven to show that investing in quality over quantity is the smartest choice for the highest rate of winning brands over time,” says Ernest.
In their recent announcement, Blue Scorpion launched their second fund with planned multi-million dollar investment in up to fifteen disruptive consumer companies. One of these investments has gone towards a non-alcoholic beverage platform, Boisson.
“The future of alcohol is non-alc,” says an empowered Ernest, whose Instagram DMs are open to prospective clients. “There’s no regulations like liquor has. Also, I believe people who are on health journeys will start drinking non-alcoholic beverages; I have a very strong gut instinct that it’s the next big thing.”
This award winning brand curates the best selections of non-alcoholic wines, beers, spirits, and more to provide consumers with high-quality, healthy, and sustainable beverage options.
With a proven track record of helping grassroots companies grow and succeed, Blue Scorpion is investing to further expand its footprint into female and minority founded companies. They’re currently on the search for the next great brands in the pet, food and beverage, health and wellness, and consumer technology sectors and will continue to provide early-stage companies with the capital, resources, high level creative direction, marketing and business expertise that their portfolio companies will need to scale their businesses into becoming the next big household names
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