Finding the Next CPG Winner with Shahir Amin from Sonoma Brands
Finding the next Consumer Packaged Good (CPG) winner can be even more elusive than the next big SaaS Startup. Not only do you face similar challenges to software startups, but you also need a solid supply chain and amazing branding just to stay in business. Our guest today has developed a knack for spotting the next big thing in CPG, Shahir Amin is Partner at Sonoma Brands, a specialist growth-equity firm exclusively dedicated to disruptive, high-growth consumer brands. In addition to selectively incubating original concepts, Sonoma partners with passionate entrepreneurs and founders ushering in a new wave of bold, innovative products.
Also in this episode, Matt Cohen chats with John Ruffolo before the interview to break down current events impacting the tech and start-up world.
About Shahir Amin:
Shahir is Managing Director at Sonoma Brands Capital. He joined the firm in 2017 and is actively involved in all aspects of the investment process, including sourcing, diligence, execution, and portfolio management.
Prior to joining Sonoma Brands Capital, Shahir was a member of the Private Investments team at UNC Management Company (“UNCMC”). While at UNCMC, Shahir managed alternative asset classes, including Venture Capital and Private Equity, on behalf of the $8.5 billion UNC Investment Fund. Prior to UNCMC, Shahir was an investment banking analyst at SunTrust Robinson Humphrey.
Shahir received a B.S. in Business Administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
In This Episode We Discuss:
(0:00:39) Intro News Rundown w/ John Ruffolo - Elon, Twitter, Tech Layoffs, and ChatGPT/OpenAI
(0:23:10) Interview: Shahir’s journey to CPG Investing
(0:24:54) His time at UNC’s Endowment Fund
(0:30:57) How Shahir landed at Sonoma Brands
(0:40:41) What Sonoma looks for in a CPG Founder
(0:43:41) The Importance of supply chain transparency and sustainability
(0:45:07) How major CPG brands are viewed in the US today
(0:49:03) What brands are doing post-pandemic to adjust to new demands
(0:51:49) The viability of building DTC in 2023
(0:53:55) Current trends in CPG
(0:56:15) Risks and viable paths to exit of CPGs
(1:00:32) How Sonoma avoids overfunding their companies
(1:03:36) What used to be true in CPG but just isn’t anymore
🎙- Favorite Podcast: How I Built This
📰- Favorite Newsletter/Blog: Dan Primack
📲- Favorite Tech Gadget: Alexa
📈- Favorite New Trend: F-1
📚- Favorite Book: The Blood Telegram
🤔 - Favorite Life Lesson: The importance of grit and determination