Carmen Busquets, known for her savvy investments in mainly tech-driven brands and retailers, has been named to a new advisory board for the New York-based venture capital fund Fernbrook Capital Management LLC.
Founded in 2016 by retail executive Marigay McKee and investment banker and lawyer William Detwiler, Fernbrook has so far made investments in about 30 companies across fashion, beauty, home technology, retail services, and food and beverage. These include inclusive-size brand Universal Standard, Knot Standard and La Ligne in fashion; Westman Atelier, Glamsquad and Violet Grey in beauty, and Akin’s Army and Baboon in fitness.
Former president of Saks Fifth Avenue and chief merchant at Harrods, McKee noted that small venture capital firms benefit from additional outside perspectives.
Busquets is a Venezuelan businesswoman best known as the majority cofounding investor of Net-a-porter, and as a vocal proponent of sustainability. The influential angel investor is said to have invested more than $50 million to date in start-ups in the U.S. and Britain including Farfetch, Moda Operandi, Flowerbx, Tagwalk, Cult Beauty and the cosmetics brand Dr Jackson’s.
Busquets joins Fernbrook’s new advisory board alongside F.D. Wilder, who honed his product development teeth over a 37-year career at Procter & Gamble. Wilder is now a senior advisory consultant at McKinsey and Co., according to his LinkedIn profile.
Fernbrook has focused on direct-to-consumer and tech brands, the majority of which are female-founded and incorporate social good in their mission statements. McKee noted the fund does not provide seed money, preferring companies that have a proven concept and founders that understand the future of retail.
She said she and Detwiler have looked at about 350 companies since founding Fernbrook. McKee is also founder of MM Luxe Consulting and consults for a number of retail developers.