Caitlin Strandberg (Lerer Hippeau) – How To Identify Consumer Pain Points, The D2C Investment Landscape, and The New York Ecosystem

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Caitlin Strandberg is a Principal at Lerer Hippeau, the most active early-stage venture capital fund in New York. The firm has more than 250 active portfolio companies with investments in leading consumer and enterprise companies, including Allbirds, Casper, Guideline, and K Health. Lerer Hippeau invests across all sectors, backing founders with product vision, customer insight, and a keen instinct for brand building.

Previously, Caitlin was an early employee at LearnVest (acquired by Northwestern Mutual) and Behance (acquired by Adobe), as well served as Vice President of FirstMark Capital.

You can follow Caitlin on Twitter Here, where she posts lots of great content on startups. If you are a founder and working on something innovative, have a question youโ€™d like to hear VCs or founders answer on the show you can DM and follow the hostย @mikegelb. You can also follow for episode announcementsย @consumervc.

Two books that Caitlin would like to recommend are The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Rise of Amazon by Brad Stone and Ready Player One by Earnest Cline.

In this episode you will learn –

  1. What attracted Caitlin to startups and venture capital? The learnings and takeaways from being an operator at early stage startups to venture capital?
  2. The challenges when investing in consumer startups at the early stages? How she evaluates opportunities and identifies if a startup is solving a real consumer pain point?
  3. Is the DTC area the golden age of brand? How she thinks about margin in relation to DTC? How much do consumers care about sustainable, eco-friendly products in relation to price? After investment, the cadence of communication among founders.
  4. What makes New York special? How she thinks about online customer acquisition today? What is one company that she is excited about investing in? What is one company she wishes she invested in? One piece of advice for founders of consumer companies?

If you would like to follow along you can click โ€œSubscribeโ€ on the Apple podcast app or whichever platform you are listening on. If you enjoyed the episode, feel free to also leave a review. You are also to see all episodes here and learn more at and follow Mike on Twitter or Instagram

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