The rest of the 100 (in alphabetical order): Beth Ferreira, WME Ventures
Wisdom comes from experience, which is often earned as much through challenges as successes.
Beth Ferreira, managing partner of WME Ventures, the investment unit of WME IMG, understands the entrepreneurial perspective from both sides, having previously been chief operating officer of fashion startup Fab.
Fab was sold in early 2015 for what news provider TechCrunch reported as a “fire-sale price” of $15m, compared with the approximate $300m it had raised at a $1bn valuation.
Ferreira had left a year before Fab’s acquisition by PCH International in February 2014.
During her time at Fab, she was a venture partner at Firstmark Capital, a VC firm co-founded by Amish Jani, an alumnus of University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School who had finished his MBA there two years before Ferreira.
WME Ventures is her first corporate venturing role after former financial and operational experiences at investment banks UBS and JPMorgan.
After leaving JPMorgan in 2002, she spent three years at management consultancy Boston Consulting Group and then the same amount of time at crafts site Etsy.
WME Ventures was set up in July 2015 using money from the talent agency as well as third parties. In November last year, the fund closed officially at $50m, structured as a separate institutional fund.
Ferreira said its deals last year were Ollie, Gusto, Viyet and Daily Harvest, while its existing portfolio made progress, including Hooked which has had 10 million teenagers reading fiction on their phones.
She said with WME Ventures having invested in the series A and A1, Glossier was “doing well and successfully raised a large series B”.
She added: “We work closely with the company on marketing strategy and influencer marketing.”
Masterclass closed a $35m C round led by VC firm IVP in March and Ferreira said: “We work very closely with the company and many of our clients have created classes, including Aaron Sorkin, Serena Williams.”
She said for her GCV Rising Star 2016 award she was looking forward to educating the technology and VC community about the new fund and WME’s new approach to venture investing and hoped the industry could become stronger through “more sharing and collaboration”.
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