Beyond D2C: True's Holistic Approach to Consumer & Retail Investing

At True, we pride ourselves on being specialist investors in the Consumer and Retail sectors. Many associate "Consumer" with D2C physical products, but the reality is much broader. In this blog, Mike Martin, Director in the VC team shares more on our investment strategy and remit.

Beyond D2C: True's Holistic Approach to Consumer & Retail Investing

Mike Martin / Insight / 4 Jul 2024

At True, we pride ourselves on being specialist investors in the Consumer and Retail sectors. Many associate "Consumer" with D2C physical products, but the reality is much broader.  

Our strategy encompasses the entirety of the Consumer and Retail verticals, extending to all corners of the market. While we have indeed backed several exciting Consumer Products businesses (many of which started selling D2C) such as Inde Wild, Awe and Fable, our remit spans a much broader range of businesses, each contributing uniquely to the Consumer and Retail ecosystem. 

Consumer Software 

We believe in the power of technology to create a significant shift in consumer experiences. Companies like Jitty, which enables people to find their dream home, and Unmind, a driving force in supporting mental health and well-being, are applying technology to address major consumer pain points in fundamentally new ways. Regardless of the distribution channel (D2C or B2B2C), consumers are the ultimate users of the technology, making it very much within our mandate. 

Consumer Services 

Similarly, we’re excited by businesses that are reimagining the way services are delivered to the end consumer. Fertifa, for example, is enabling better access to reproductive healthcare for consumers via their employers, working with companies like Meta, Aviva and Virgin. In the US, Short Story Box is experiencing extraordinary growth by providing a subscription clothing service for petite women, an underserved but significant market. 

Retail Tech & Supply Chain 

The retail sector continues to undergo significant structural shifts. Changing consumer expectations are pushing brands to be more conscious of their impact on the planet. Shellworks is reinventing the supply chain for the CPG industry, by creating fully compostable packaging solutions (zero-waste), leveraging cutting edge materials science. 

The pace of technology development – including AI – is also driving retailers to rethink their operating models and software stacks. Companies like SeeChange, in which True recently invested, are empowering retailers to prevent theft and to make shops safer (theft can cost retailers 2-4% of revenue per year!). 

Finally, the rise of professionals looking to sell their services directly (rather than as an employee) is creating demand for software to help these “prosumers” or “solopreneurs” run their businesses. It’s why we backed Jena, which is simplifying the way owners set up and run their company, with more intuitive software – you can read more about Jena's mission and our investment here

Working with Founders 

We are more than just investors; we are partners in innovation. We understand the challenges founders face and are committed to helping support and scale their business – from strategic guidance and insights from across the Consumer & Retail landscape to enabling access to our extensive network. Our holistic approach ensures that we provide not just capital, but also the expertise and resources needed to foster growth and innovation. 

If you're an entrepreneur working on something you think would be relevant for us (we invest from pre-seed to Series A), we’d love to hear from you! You can get in touch with us at

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