Eric Hippeau discusses D2C growth, brand value and advice for early-stage founders


Eric Hippeau is the founding partner at Lerer Hippeau Ventures, whose portfolio companies include the likes of Axios, BuzzFeed, Casper, Warby Parker, Allbirds, DocSend, Fundera, Everlane, Giphy, Genius and the recently acquired fitness company Mirror.

It would not be an overstatement to say that Hippeau is well-positioned to discuss startups across a wide spectrum of industries, from media to D2C to telehealth to edtech. We spoke with Hippeau for a full hour on a recent episode of Extra Crunch Live to discuss all of the above and get his tactical advice for early-stage startups looking to catch their break.

Below, you’ll find a video of the entire episode and highlights from our conversation. Enjoy!

Advice for super-early-stage founders

As much as you can, in terms of timing and resources, build something. Don’t just talk about building something. Build it. It’s not gonna be perfect, and it might not work the way you might do, but build it because that will give me, as a VC, an indication of what you’re trying to accomplish. It also tells me a lot about you, and that that this is something that you really care about. You’re going to ask your family, and even ask your friends, and you’re going to get resources any way you can because it’s that important to you. And, the product that you build, while not perfect by any of stretch of the imagination, will go a long way for us to figure out what it is.

On the growth of direct-to-consumer