Matt Salzberg, who co-founded and served as CEO of meal kit startup Blue Apron until 2017, is back in the startup business with a new venture studio called Content.
Along with Salzburg, the content is led by partners Andy Salamon (formerly a general partner of Atomic Labs, which has supported Snow and Terminal) and Daniel David Park (co-founder of Jane Strategy). The studio has been operating for the past one year and has closed its first $ 25 million fund.
Salzburg told me that the material would have “a very slow and deliberate approach to company building.” This means doing in-depth research on an industry (“we do more private equity-style due diligence than venture capital-style diligence”), identifying an opportunity and finding the company with the content team Let’s recruit an executive.
“We act as their co-founders, literally, whether in terms of talent and recruiting or resources in our fund, we help a lot with investor connections, we help with strategy “We help with relationships,” he said. “We allow co-founding CEOs to handle day-to-day decisions and as they bring in outside capital in future periods, we change more like board members.”
Salzburg said his goal is not “a factory that chooses five companies a year, six or seven companies a year”. And instead of joining a lot of companies, “We like to do a lot with very few companies.”
In particular, the content team plans to launch two new startups every year. For the most part, Salzburg said that ideas for these companies would “almost always” originate within the content, as the goal is to start companies “from scratch” rather than invest seed. He acknowledges that this approach allows him to “get personal satisfaction” from the process, but he argues that it is also financially sound.
“It’s also the right investment strategy to create great risk-adjusted returns,” he said. “We already risk the startup process with better vetted ideas, and more experienced founders and we are giving them good capital, $ 2 to $ 4 million.”
Startups launched from Material include delivery-focused restaurant startup Kitchen to Kitchen (led by former Freshdirect CEO Dean Farbish), Suma Brands, an acquaintance of the Amazon brand (led by former Dolls Kill COO Andrew Savage) and sales startups that Still in stealth mode.
New content startups can occur in any industry, but Salzburg said the team is particularly interested in e-commerce (not too surprising, given his background and salamon) and the future of the work.