PORTLAND, Ore., May 30, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Color, the inclusive investment fund founded by entrepreneurs Jaime Schmidt and Chris Cantino, announced investments in new portfolio companies this week including Backstage Capital and BUBBLE. Schmidt and Cantino, who grew Schmidt's Naturals from humble beginnings in founder Jaime's Portland, OR kitchen into a global brand that sold to Unilever in 2017, recently announced their investment in Wild Friends Foods, a clean-label nut and seed butter company. Since, Wild Friends has expanded availability in Walmart and seen double-digit growth in eCommerce sales.
The first of Color's investments is Backstage Capital's Studio, alongside investors Arlan Hamilton and celebrity Casey Neistat. The operations arm of Backstage Capital, which has raised $5M for diverse and underrepresented entrepreneurs, Studio recently launched Accelerator, a series of 3-month startup programs in LA, Detroit, Philadelphia, and London. Studio is currently developing products and services that engage the Backstage ecosystem in the company's goal of democratizing venture capital.
"I'm impressed with the strategy and precision of Jaime and Chris' Color initiative. It is a perfect example of how one can pay it forward, while still generating returns. In their case, it is impact investing, with style," says Backstage's Arlan Hamilton. "Color joins our Studio investors who are making it possible for our 4-city Accelerator to operate and expand, and for us to continue to build products for underestimated founders across the country."
Color also announced their investment in BUBBLE, a curated, online clean food marketplace founded by Jessica Young, former Director of Product and Operations at Daily Harvest. BUBBLE, currently raising a seed round, also develops their own private label products including Hella, and plans to use funds from the round to expand their company's marketing and R&D capabilities.
"Color truly is leveling the playing field in the venture capital space. As a female founder, seeing a diverse team at the table who have also been entrepreneurs is exactly who I want invested in BUBBLE," said Young. "The funds from Color will be used for BUBBLE's next phase of growth to expand on the national community of 500+ products and 125,000 newsletter subscribers."
"Color is, in many ways, a reaction to our experience growing Schmidt's and seeing the need for a more equitable system that better funds the work of women and other underrepresented founders," said Schmidt and Cantino in a statement, citing that while women are starting more businesses than ever, they continue to receive inordinately less funding in comparison to their male counterparts. The couple also teased the imminent launch of new platforms they have been building that are "designed to elevate and celebrate emerging entrepreneurs and the creative community," promising a major announcement in the coming weeks.
Color is an inclusive investment fund supporting diverse and inspired founders. Founded in 2018 by entrepreneurs and Jaime Schmidt and Chris Cantino, Color specializes in the consumer product industry, brand positioning, and growth strategy.
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