The CPG Guys

Funding for Growth in a Downturn Economy with Clearco's Ray Cao

December 29, 2022 Peter V.S. Bond & Sri Rajagopalan Season 1 Episode 252
The CPG Guys
Funding for Growth in a Downturn Economy with Clearco's Ray Cao
Show Notes

The CPG Guys are joined in this episode by Ray Cao, Advisor to Founders at Clearco, the world’s largest eCommerce investor built by Founders for Founders. Equity-free. Bias-free. Hassle-free.

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Ray answers these questions:

1) You have such a plethora of experiences beginning as an engineer by training, trading at Barclays Capital to then becoming a founder, starting and successfully selling a number of businesses. Tell us about this interesting journey of yours.
2) What are you seeing these days? Rapid omnichannel growth? Or has it really slowed down since covid ended and is it a permanent tilt to digital/ecommerce? 3) Should all brands be leaning into digital and competing now with digital native brands?
4) What are your thoughts on the basics of success in a digital world? How do you advise brand founders today?
5) In addition to startups, you are also an advisory board member for Groceryshop/Shoptalk. Tell us about that role and also other things that you are personally doing to drive success for our industry.
6) In your role at Clearco, you worked with a lot of ecommerce aggregators. I think many of us (and our audience) have received calls from these heavily funded startups in the last couple of years to join these startups. Can you tell us what you’re seeing in the space and how it has evolved? Where do you think things will end up?
7) Many of us recently saw the acquisition of Hero Cosmetics to Church and Dwight. It looked like a great transaction for all those involved, do you expect to see more in the near future?
8) A few years ago, there was a lot of discussion around how DTC brands are going to tear apart the P&Gs, Nestles and Unilevers of the world. You know and spend time with a lot of CPG executives as well. What do you feel is the overall sentiment right now amongst the CPG executive community as it relates to DTC and how real of a threat is DTC today?
9) As it relates to investing, what do you personally look for in startups and what maturity do you get involved in?
10) What’s next in retail and ecommerce? Are there any companies or innovations that you’re really excited by?What is your personal advice for startup founders or potential founders who are eager to run the race of competing with a scaled CPG product? What would differentiate them?

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