Kind’s Lubetzky fronts equity platform to help other startups forge their own ‘rags-to-riches’ story
Formerly known as Equilibra (the family office of the billionaire entrepreneur Lubetzky), Camino Partners will operator within a broader investment business, investing across a wide range of asset classes, including F&B, durables, replenishable items and the fast-moving consumer goods category.
Camino’s team – many of whom are Kind alumni – is banking on its breadth of experience to take entrepreneurs to the next level.
The New York-based company promises a hand-on partnership, long-term orientation and value-based approach in helping experienced entrepreneurs move their disruptive idea forward.
It will do this either through a partnership to launch and build a new venture, or in strategic positions within the company to steer it through its next phase of growth, taking lessons from building Kind Snacks from a fledgling startup into a powerhouse that candy maker Mars reportedly forked out around $4bn to acquire in 2020.
Ditching the tried-but-true for out-the-box thinking
The better-for-you snacks producer grew from an outside-the-box idea into a multi-billion dollar, multicategory global brand with only $5m in primary investment. It achieved its success by taking the road less travelled, breaking industry conventions and empowering consumers to live better without sacrificing priorities like taste and convenience. It was also a pioneer of social entrepreneurship, known for its philanthropic approach to encourage a state of mind and a community that works together ‘to build a kinder world’.
“Through Kind, we have amassed tons of expertise on what it takes to identify a true white space, develop a unique value proposition, and grow an iconic brand that ultimately gives way to a successful global business,” said Lubetzky, who has taken on the mantle as Camino’s chairman.
“The team at Camino Partners is ready to help today’s brightest entrepreneurs do the same.”
There isn’t a strict set of criteria for companies to be eligible to receive funding, however, the incubator is seeking out entrepreneurs whose innovative market solutions have the proven ability to defy categories and shift culture while meeting a real need in the marketplace. For its part, Camino’s team will help the entrepreneur to navigate the twists and turns of growth, guided not by tried-and-true playbooks, but by the values – like integrity, ingenuity, and entrepreneurial spirit – that helped Kind outperform.
No pressure to compromise
“Too often in growth equity investing, entrepreneurs are forced to compromise their product, culture, vision or values to conform to an investor’s markers for short-term success,” said Elle Lanning, Camino’s managing partner and an exec at Kind for more than a decade.
“We know that every company’s pathway to scale will look different, and we look forward to taking that journey with values-aligned partners.”
A revised version of Lubetzky’s Equilibra Partners Management, Camino has adopted an established portfolio of early-stage consumer brands, including better-for-you Mexican food brand Somos Foods, Eruopean breakfast brand Belgian Boys, gimme seaweed snacks and Mediterranean food specialist Cava. However, according to Lanning, Camino is planning to deploy $350m in the coming years.
“It’s more than a continuation of Equilibra,” said Lanning.
“As we dug deeper into our core strengths, we realised our top priority is putting our operational experience as founders and entrepreneurs to work and forging individualised paths for building brands.”
Entrepreneurs interested in partnering with Camino Partners are invited to get in touch.