Active Intros: Meet Amna Hameed

16/08/2022

As part of our new Active Intros series, we will be catching up with a different member of the Active team each month to find out what’s keeping them busy, which consumer trend they’re most excited about and the one brand they couldn’t live without.

We’re kicking off the series with our Associate, Amna Hameed. Amna joined Active in February 2020 after three years at Evercore. She works closely with our portfolio companies Finisterre, Secret Cinema and Facetheory, alongside her focus on deal sourcing, execution and diligence.

We caught up with Amna in the middle of London’s August heatwave to find out more…  

What does a typical day at Active look like for you?

I try to start each day catching up on the latest consumer news. Then, depending on what’s going on in our portfolio, I spend a few hours working with our portfolio company’s management teams (this can be anything from discussing strategic decisions to financial / exit planning or just catching up!).

A lot of my time is spent focusing on deploying new capital – identifying new opportunities in markets we are interested in, and deep diving into companies we are serious about investing in, to make an investment decision. This involves gaining a deep understanding of the business from the management teams (all parts of the business, including marketing/brand, product and team), understanding the market they operate in, getting to know the team and working on their strategic business plans with them.

I will often spend some time in the afternoon on introductory calls with founders or in follow-up meetings with businesses we are in discussions with. And I try to meet other investors regularly too. I love connecting with people in the industry and hearing what insights and trends they’re excited about.

You spend a lot of time speaking to founders that are disrupting consumer categories or creating entirely new ones. What consumer trend excites you most right now?

I’m super excited about the femtech category. It’s a market that has started to mature recently after being overlooked for so many years, predominantly due to social taboos and the inequalities in access to funding in the VC landscape. While there is still lots of progress to be made on that front, female health issues are increasingly starting to come to the fore and there are lots of exciting companies in this space. In subcategories within femtech such as sexual wellness and menopause, we’re seeing brilliant entrepreneurs pioneering solutions.

There is lots of innovation in B2B2C offerings in the health category more broadly too, increasingly around mental health and how corporates can better support their workforces. This is an interesting space and one I’m keeping a close eye on.

Tell us what you love most, and least, about your job.

I love how we get to go on the growth journey with the portfolio companies we partner with and support them to go from zero to one and beyond in a host of different ways. We work with such smart, interesting people from all walks of life, which is inspiring and rewarding.

In terms of what I like least, sometimes we will be really excited about a founder, idea and brand, but the numbers and analysis that inform our final investment decision make it difficult for us to justify the investment. This is always disappointing and made worse by having to let down a great founder.

What’s your advice for someone who’s looking to get into the investment industry?

Immerse yourself in whatever sector most interests you. Sign up for newsletters (lots of investors write regular ones which are great for staying on top of trends), read them every day and follow people you admire in the industry. Twitter is a good platform for keeping track of prominent investors in the industry too. Some investors are open to meeting with people who are looking to get into the industry so try and get out and meet investors if you can (I’m always happy to chat to people!)

And having some relevant experience will always be helpful. That could be in professional services like banking or consulting or hands-on operational experience in a fast-growing startup where you’ve been involved in the day-to-day scaling of a VC-backed business.

Name one brand you couldn’t live without

My Oura ring. It holds me to account and forces me to look after myself when it feels like life is going at 100 miles an hour. I also love interior design, so I’m a regular at the Andrew Martin outlet showroom in South London.

Favourite podcast

I’m not a huge podcast person but I sometimes listen to the Y Combinator Podcast or Grounded with Louis Theroux.

Top book recommendation

I recently finished A Little Life – it is harrowing and dark but hugely impactful and an incredible story of friendship in the face of adversity. My non-fiction recommendation would be A History of God. I did my undergraduate degree in Theology and it gave me a whole new perspective on religion.

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