Julia Collins was the first black woman to co-find an enterprise-supported unicorn. Therefore, it is no surprise that investors betting on its latest venture, Planet FWD. Investor Sarah Kunst compares Collins to the ubiquitous lifestyle brand Supreme.
“The thing that Supreme has done incredibly well is the same thing I think some very exceptional founders like Julia can do very well, creating a brand that makes anything stand out,” Kunst said. “Smart people know that the best time to line up with a great brand is at the drop.
A Supreme shirt in the store will cost $100 to online $1000 online online so, as an investor, I only have one-child sports on the street corner. Kunst and Collins met well before they had a clear idea of Collins Planet FWD, but they both knew they wanted to work together in the future. Kunst originally told Collins that whatever he was planning to do next, Kunst wanted to invest in it invisibly.
Kunst said Collins’ ability to “turn the corner” with Zoom gave him confidence to move forward. There were plenty of Naysayers when Zoom launched, Kunst recalls. “Now, you see where the world is and there are millions of dollars worth of companies in space,” he said. “Several successful entrepreneurs from around the world, such as Travis Kalanick, are leaning towards ghost kitchens, a slightly skillfully supplied version of the Zoom Pizza robot.
To quote Wayne Gretzky, because I come from the Midwest and so take very little care of hockey, you want to go where you are laughing. The two formed a friendship and eventually Collins Planet started building FWD and preparing to rise. By then there was the foundation. Kunst Planet has risen to the seed round of FWD.
Collins says one of the biggest lessons Zume learned from his time was to limit detachment and focus on one thing at a time. “I felt this chaos at times and it was very difficult to move,” he said, noting that he was not only launching an agency, but also settled in the Gulf region.
“Now, it’s easier for me to make a lot of noise and focus on single conversations, single product development, single things I need to do.” In the same vein, Collins has learned to be incredibly intentional when it comes to fundraising. It is also noteworthy that he has raised about $400 million in the last five years.