WWD: Meet the Silicon Valley and San Francisco power brokers from the worlds of tech and finance

Silicon Valley Sets Sights on Beauty: Meet the Silicon Valley and San Francisco power brokers from the worlds of tech and finance.

Patricia Nakache, Trinity Ventures, General Partner

Trinity Ventures was one of the first venture capital firms to back brick-and-mortar businesses such as Starbucks, Jamba Juice and P.F. Chang’s, but these days, it has shifted its dollars to e-commerce outfits that are less capital intensive. Patricia Nakache, who joined Trinity during the height of the Internet boom in 1999, says, “I loved this focus on consumers and trying to change consumers lives for the better with technology. What’s really been exciting is watching women become the dominant drivers of social commerce and media. That’s one of my major areas of focus.”

Discussing that focus, Nakache singles out Trinity Ventures’ investment in Care.com, a care-services resource for children, pets and seniors. “As a mom of three kids, it totally resonated with me,” she says. Other investments Nakache is involved in include thredUP, Ruby Ribbon, BeachMint and Weddington Way.

An attractive Web site isn’t enough to convince Nakache an investment is warranted. “Even if you have the technology front end to a commerce business, you really have to understand the back-end operations of retail to deliver great product at decent margins,” she says. She emphasizes mobile should be a priority for social commerce companies. “I’m looking for companies that are thinking about problems with a mobile-first approach,” says Nakache, adding that she asks companies, “Assuming that all your customers are coming from mobile, how would you design the service differently?”