20VC: Dollar Shave Club’s Series A & B Lead Investor, David Pakman on The Requirements For A Successful Subscription Business & Why A Lot of Investors Do Not Like Consumer

Posted on 10th August 2016 by Harry

David Pakman is a Partner at Venrock and the man behind Venrock’s leading of the Series A and B rounds for Dollar Shave Club. Prior to Venrock David spent 12 years as an internet entrepreneur. Including being CEO of eMusic, the world’s leading digital retailer of independent music, second only to iTunes. Prior to eMusic, David co-founded Myplay in 1999, which he later sold, in 2001, to Bertelsmann’s ecommerce Group. If that wasn’t enough David is also the co-creator of Apple Computer’s Music Group.



In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:


  • How did David make his way into the world of VC with Venrock?
  • David invested in Dollar Shave when subscription ecommerce funding was largely out of favour. What was it that excited Dave about Dollar Shave and why did he choose to invest?
  • To what extent do we see the existence of party rounds in today’s funding environment?
  • Venrock took the rather unusual position to lead both the A and B rounds for Dollar Shave. What was the internal conversations like within Venrock towards this decision?
  • Dollar Shave was growing at phenomenal rates with impressive growth, what was behind the decision to sell at this time? What were the incentives behind selling to Unilever?
  • Will we see other large e-commerce exits in the future? What does the future M&A environment look like for consumer businesses?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

David’s Fave Book: Mindset by Carole Dweck

David’s Most Recent Investment: Pearl

As always you can follow Harry, The Twenty Minute VC and David on Twitter here!

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

Eve make 1 perfect mattress – made with 3 layer technology and next generation memory foam. It comes packaged in a beautiful box and arrives the day after you order. You get 100 nights to try it with free return pick-up – it really is the perfect mattress for everyone. Just go online to evemattress.co.uk and enter the code 20VC for £50 off. Everybody deserves the perfect start with Eve.

Want the latest 20VC insights?

Get all of the insights from of our latest epsiodes and more in our monthly newsletter. All venture, no spam.