Investor Q&A: Monogram Capital Partners Co-founder Jared Stein

Investor Q&A is an interview series with investors in the health, fitness, and wellness markets.

In this Q&A, you’ll hear from Jared Stein, co-founder and partner at Monogram Capital Partners, a private equity firm with 25+ investments across consumer brands like Oatly, OLIPOP, and Genexa. Jared shares his outlook on personalized health and explains the intangibles of successful founders.

Can you tell us about Monogram Capital?

Jared Stein: We started Monogram in 2014 to focus exclusively on backing category-leading consumer brands and businesses across the areas of focus we saw a modern consumer zeroing in on: better-for-you food and beverage, pet care, fitness, and, from a broader perspective, health & wellness.

We are ecosystem investors that focus on the brands that consumers are passionately loyal to as well as the underlying technology tools and supply chain that power them.

We have made over 30 investments to date including Grand Fitness (a leading Planet Fitness franchisee), Chewy.com, Oatly, Foxtrot, OLIPOP, and Genexa, to name a few.

Do you have specific investment criteria?

JS: We tend to focus on businesses from $10M–100M in revenue and narrow in on identified market leading brands that are disrupting their verticals with a differentiated value proposition and incredibly loyal consumer engagement.

The companies we seek out have strong management teams with a defined vision — and those that work with Monogram Capital Partners desire to see their vision achieve outsized growth on an accelerated timeline.

What’s the firm’s thesis as it relates to health & wellness?

JS: I believe that consumers are demanding more from today’s health,wellness, and fitness products and experiences.

Emerging from COVID, I think the hybrid environment is here to stay, whereby consumers may have one piece of equipment at home to layer in digital content in their living room but still want the diversity of options from a traditional gym.

Pairing with the at-home modalities, the traditional gym option will likely be a high-value, low-cost option or a high-end premium gym that creates an ideal atmosphere of escape. The options in the middle are likely to be left behind.

Meanwhile, data tracking across all of these environments, personalized nutrition, and increasingly clean and curated products—food, beverage, beauty, or otherwise—will continue to drive outsized growth and become the next generation’s category-defining brands.

Do you use any frameworks or filters to evaluate potential investments?

JS: I look for founders who have that intangible factor — a combination of sheer will and determination, with the self-awareness and humility to also seek out support to get to the best answer possible.

I’m a huge believer in folks who are constantly looking to grow themselves and never satisfied with the status quo. From my experience across our portfolio, that innate desire to always refine, optimize, and iterate is the single biggest determinant of both the founder’s personal performance ceiling and that of their company.

Lastly, I always look for folks that share the ball, and in doing so, surround themselves with best-in-class talent and make room for them to contribute.

Can you share a few notable investments you’ve made and your rationale for investing?

JS: We have invested in several leading players in and across this space, from Grand Fitness—a leading franchisee with more than 50 locations in the Planet Fitness system—to Foxtrot, a leading omnichannel convenience retailer with an up-leveled curation for modern health and wellness products.

In the food and beverage space, we’ve backed plant-based trend in Oatly and better-for-you disruptors like OLIPOP, who is leading a revolution in the healthy soda space.

Lastly, we were fortunate to partner with Genexa who is finally cleaning up the OTC aisle with the first-to-market clean homeopathic and over-the-counter medications available anywhere to consumers.

What’s your process for sourcing deals? How can a founder get on your radar?

JS: We tend to be thesis-driven investors who, given our specialization, are always focused on meeting great executives and great businesses in the target verticals I mentioned.

I love what we do and feel fortunate to get to meet the amazing people powering these category-leading businesses. As a result, I would always welcome a conversation with anyone who has aspirations to build the next great player in the health & wellness space!

Are there specific concepts or categories you’d like to invest in?

JS: I think the shift toward customized health and wellness is going to be one of the major underlying drivers of change and growth in the decade ahead!

For far too long, we’ve had to settle for one-size-fits-all solutions for our health rather than truly bespoke products and experiences that are designed with our personal chemistry and environmental factors in mind.

The technology is finally there in terms of diagnostics, formulation, and delivery to unlock a whole new level of customized solutions from fitness to food to medicine and beyond. I can’t wait!

If you’re interested in joining us for an Investor Q&A, send an email to team@fitt.co.