06 Catharine Dockery discusses the future of vices
When Catharine Dockery personally invested in Bev, the D2C rosé company, major VC firms expressed interest in investing. But Bev could never close the deals, and it wasn’t the company’s fault.
The vice clause always tripped up the VCs. It’s an old-fashioned rule that prevents most traditional VC funds from investing in businesses related to sex or drugs (and probably rock and roll). This year Dockery started Vice Ventures, which invests in all the industries the other funds have spurned.
Vice Ventures has $25m, built from contributions from the likes of Bradley Tusk and Marc Andreesen. The fund has invested in Bev, InDose, Players Lounge, and Recess. Dockery says she mostly looks for really strong brands that have cultivated followings in their crowded spaces.
The next big thing: Dockery believes harm-reduction nicotine––products like e-cigarettes––will increase in prominence. Right now, e-cigarettes and Juul are still mostly viewed as hazards for young people. But Dockery says that with nicotine patches and gums being an unpopular, “terrible tasting” preventive course, more people will eventually need new harm reduction methods to cut back on tobacco.