Our Investment in Castiron
by Brad Feld
We are passionate supporters of entrepreneurship in all its forms, and we know that we are but one option for founders looking to build their companies. In Moody’s YouTube channel, Venture Kills, and Seth’s book, The New Builders, they talk in depth about this and the huge promise that small business owners hold for the future of the American economy. So when High Alpha Studio company, Castiron, launched in October of this year, we couldn’t wait to get involved.
Castiron is enabling artisanal food creators to build their businesses with a platform that helps them create a web presence, manage sales, track inventory, and reach customers. Their blog is a crash course in how to start a culinary business, with helpful tips on pricing, SEO, and influencer marketing. Users can get started for free, with no credit card required. Castiron is tailor made for its target audience: folks who are scrappy makers, people who want to focus on their passion, and those who are new to direct-to-consumer business.
We learned about Castiron through our relationship with co-founder and CEO, Mark Josephson. Moody has known Mark for a long time through board work they did together on a non-profit consortium. We introduced Mark to our partner, High Alpha Studio, and they recruited him to co-found the company earlier this year. When we learned that they were raising a round led by another partner, Bowery Capital, we quickly engaged, despite the fact that the stage of Castiron is a little earlier than we typically invest in.
Castiron is a SaaS-enabled Marketplace investment, an area in which we have a lot of expertise. Mark is deeply devoted to the entrepreneurs he is supporting, and we could not be happier to partner with him in that effort. Small business owners have so much to offer our communities and the broader American economy, and we look forward to working with Castiron as they make the cottage food industry more accessible to makers of all kinds.