Founding partners, Gautam Ahuja and Jamison Ernest
Gautam Ahuja and Jamison Ernest, the co-founders and general partners of Blue Scorpion, place a premium on their personal values and connections with brands. By using authenticity as a form of quality control, these entrepreneurs are changing the game and turning grassroots companies into your favorite brands.
With their super-user ethos approach and hands-on tactics, Blue Scorpion offers not only financial, but brand-based conceptual and creative value to every company within their rapidly growing yet selective portfolio.
To vet the quality of potential client’s products, they use them first hand, opting for brands with which they have a personal connection. Ahuja and Ernest have to be their client’s biggest fans and patrons in order to promote them. This is what makes Blue Scorpion unique from other venture capital firms.
“You’d be surprised how many VCs I’ve talked to who have never used the product,” notes Ahuja. “It’s amazing; sometimes they don’t even know about the product, they just see numbers.”
Ernest would walk the streets of SoHo looking for a fix of Van Leeuwen when the brand was just starting out as a word-of-mouth food truck and says, “I would see them in the summer, outside the Apple Store on Prince Street. I would always get something when I did.”
With the help of Blue Scorpion, Van Leeuwen, the trendy artisan and vegan ice cream brand, now boasts 37 locations, 20 new stores opening this year and a brand name every New Yorker recognizes. They’re currently carried in most major supermarkets, including Walmart, expanding the brand from their brick and mortar locations.
“It can be tempting to invest in as many startups as possible, hoping that one will be the next big thing, using the spray and pray method. However, research shows that investing in quality over quantity is the smarter choice,” says Ernest.
Since its inception in 2015, Ahuja and Ernest have been the faces behind some of your other favorite brands like Quip, the first subscription based oral hygiene company; Thursday Boots, the fast growing online footwear brand; and Back to the Roots, a brand designed to increase awareness about the origin and relationship with food.
Courtesy of Van Leeuwen Courtesy of Thursday Boots
Courtesy of Back to the Roots Courtesy of Quip
With their backgrounds in investment banking and creative direction, the two make a powerful duo, offering different perspectives and a range of expertise.
“We have this cool dynamic,” says Ahuja, Blue Scorpion’s savant-level number’s guy to Ernest’s savvy, sweet-tooth marketing guru. “We understand and respect each other; we have to be 100% in agreement. We have different lenses, but we’ve also learned from each other.”
In their recent announcement, Blue Scorpion has launched their second fund with multi-million dollar investments in up to 15 disruptive consumer companies.
“We will have approximately 15 investments in our second fund. The first check size is always going to be around three million on average with follow-on investments when the companies are doing well,” says Ernest in his easy, yet matter-of-fact style. One of these investments has already gone towards a non-alcoholic beverage platform, Boisson.
Courtesy of Boisson
“The future of alcohol is non-alc,” says an empowered Ernest, whose Instagram DMs are open to prospective clients. “There’s no regulations like liquor has. Also, I believe people on health journeys will start drinking non-alcoholic beverages; I have a very strong sense that it’s the next big thing.”
This award-winning brand curates the best selections of non-alcoholic wines, beers, spirits, and more to provide consumers with high-quality, healthy, and sustainable beverage options.
With a proven track record of helping grassroots companies grow and succeed, Blue Scorpion is looking to expand further into food and beverage, health and wellness, and consumer technology sectors among other consumer categories. Providing early-stage companies with the capital, resources, creative high level marketing, and the expertise they need to scale their businesses.