Golden Hour Ventures: The Flow: April

getting female founders funded / recruiting a new wave of investors to get it done.

Hi, I’m Kelley Arena, founder of Golden Hour Ventures. Coming to your inbox to share deal flow, industry news, founder resources, consumer market musings, and things I like.

Table of Contents

What I’ve been up to…

Hot Deals🔥

🙌 Portfolio Company High Fives

📰 News and Food for Thought

🌈 Founder’s Corner

🍰Shop Women-Founded Brands/Current Obsessions

🍦Other Things No One Asked For

What I’ve been up to…

I co-hosted a screening of Show Her the Money with Elle Wang and Annie Evans– the first documentary about the trials and tribulations of being a woman raising capital, and the women VCs shaking up the space. The production team is doing a 50 state tour if you want to host your own screening!

I set sail with the last Summit at Sea – if you aren’t familiar, it described as “a symphony of 2,000 visionaries from every corner of the globe embark on a four-day odyssey brimming with boundless creativity and synchronistic encounters.” I am positive this is the most fun a person can have on a cruise ship. My highlight reel:

Hearing from space philosopher Frank White on The Overview Effect, a cognitive shift reported by some astronauts while viewing the Earth from space.

Dr. Mark Hyman’s talk on how to grow a new body and mind (spoiler: diet and exercise are the keys but it helps to have a shaman on speed dial in case you accidentally encounter a dark spirit that seeps in).

Sergey Brin on the dance floor with a bunch of sparkly mermaids and mermen.

Soul Purpose Activation with medicine woman and wisdom keeper Erika Gagnon. “We have 25 years to acknowledge and attempt to reverse the destruction of our planet, we have no time to waste”.

Meditations with Bob Thurman (some zingers that stuck; “World peace must come from inner peace” and “Never vote for someone who is angry”.

Alli Shaper, founder of Supermush, led an incredible session entitled “Mushrooms Eat Death for Breakfast” about mushrooms and facing our immortality with courage and presence.

Sylvia Benito was also part of this panel, whose title is Chief Investment Officer, Shaman and Pioneer in Entheogenically Informed Investing. After googling what that meant, I now know what I want to be when I grow up.

I finally made it to the Ivys (for one day): Thanks to Katie McCormick Lelyveld, founder of MELD, I spent the day at Harvard’s Women Entrepreneurship Institute hearing from the future. I think we are in great hands- these undergraduates have huge vision and and are 1,000 steps ahead of where I was in college, which was definitely not focused on launching start-ups.

ALSO: We are hosting a few investor events for angel investors and the angel curious over the next six weeks, in both NYC and LA. The focus will be on startups innovating in sustainability and reproductive health. If you would like to be on the invite list (or to host an event with your community), let me know (you can just reply- it’s me here).

Hot Deals🔥


Hazel is a luxe, innovative femme care brand transforming the $20B incontinence category. One in two women experience bladder leaks- Hazel’s hero is a disposable brief that looks and feels like real underwear, complete with a control top.

Why we’re excited:

Backed by Brian Lee (Co-Founder of The Honest Company) and former P&G executives, our team has a proven track record in scaling consumer businesses, with expertise in femcare innovation and retail

1 in 2 women experience bladder leaks, yet 77% hate the existing products. Legacy brands haven’t innovated in over 50 years and have no incentive. They’re leveraging their baby diaper manufacturing and supply chains, leaving women with bulky, plastic adult diapers

Meet Hazel’s High & Dry Brief, a super chic disposable brief for leaks. It’s a revolutionary, first-to-market product – developed alongside industry veterans in fashion and material science. With its novel fibers, patent-pending absorbent technology, proprietary manufacturing, and stylish design, we’re finally delivering the elevated experience she deserves

Featured in Vogue, Oprah, Well + Good, Self, + more

85% Repeat Rate & NPS Score in the 98th percentile

With 90% of category sales in retail, we are launching in Q1 2024 in 268 locations, expanding to 1900 doors and a retail run rate of $9M by year end. To support this, we’re raising to scale production and retail launch efforts

Reach out for more info.


Fourth Effect

Fourth Effect is an AI powered, community driven, board and investment marketplace where companies are empowered and incentivized to build out advisory and governing boards with diverse talent and women have the power to initiate and advance a for-profit board career.

Key Highlights:

10k members, 24 countries, 237 cities; Pipeline of 6-figure deals from F500 companies

Bootstrapped to $300k+ ARR

SPV open here

Link to deck HERE

🙌 Portfolio Company High Fives

Angelina Jolie Joins Sustainable Brand Another Tomorrow as a Strategic Advisor

“To be part of this momentum is exciting to me, and for the outcome to be elevated clothing that comes from a thoughtful and humane supply chain makes it all the more beautiful.”

To be clear: This is major

Angelina Jolie with Another Tomorrow team. Credits: Another Tomorrow.

📰 News and Food for Thought

M&A Activity

Emma and Jens Grede and the Von Furstenbergs take a minority stake in The Elder Statesman.

Boisson Files for Bankruptcy, Closes Stores. As a non-alc category lover, this bums me out. “No one should consider this anything other than what it is: a failed venture-backed startup that grew too quickly, made mistakes, and wasn’t able to find capital fast enough to continue to build three businesses at the same time — brick-and-mortar retail, e-commerce, and wholesale import/distribution — which in hindsight proved to be impossibly hard to execute,” (founder) Bodkins wrote.

Meaningful Partners announces a $20 million strategic growth investment in Allies of Skin.

Spindrift (at over $300m in revenue) is exploring a sale.

News / Reads

Acne Studio launches first fragrance with Frederic Malle and it evokes “the softness of a scarf”.

Why L Catterton Is Making Smaller Bets on Beauty The LVMH owned PE firm launched Ellevate Beuaty, making $2-$10 million investments in early beauty companies. The targets? Medical-backed brands and clean beauty (is that still a real thing?), color cosmetics, and haircare, especially the “skinification” of hair.

Rare Beauty passed $400 million in net sales. Wowza. The only celebrity brand that has surpassed rare is Fenty. All eyes on this exit, which could be over $2 billion. We love a beauty unicorn.

OpenAI is offering limited access to a text-to-voice generation platform called Voice Engine, which can create a synthetic voice based on a 15-second clip of someone’s voice.

Side Hustles Are Soaring as Entrepreneurs Start Businesses Working Part- or Full-Time Elsewhere “The percentage of entrepreneurs who started their businesses as side hustles jumped from 27% in 2022 to 44% in 2023. Working remotely and not having to commute, plus having access to AI, may have helped get more businesses off of the ground last year.”

What would happen if Fashion Were Taxed Like Cigarettes? France is pressing ahead with a ‘game-changing’ bill that would impose a ‘sin tax’-style penalty on fast-fashion products as high as €10 per item by 2030.

This E.L.F. x Liquid Death collab seemed so strange to me, but then it crushed, so clearly I am not the demo for either. Good for them.

The Smartphone Kids Are Not Alright: Breaking: smartphones really are ruining childhood. This article has me yearning for flip phones. The author suggests no smart phones until high school, way more freedom in the real world, and way less freedom online.

Securing a debt facility is significantly more challenging for seed and early-stage founders (lending resources).

The brand backlash against tween skincare routines is growing. This photo 👇 of Kiehl’s posters is from my walk to Soho yesterday. The Ordinary posted “Teens, you don’t need 10 steps” and Drunk Elephant, the accidental tween favorite, posted this regarding their tween audience. And of course, Dove is all over this.

Speaking of Dove- they are the first to ban AI generated women in ads, and also made an ad to address the decision (worth a watch). According to their Campaign for Real Beauty, the brand found that 39% of women feel pressure to alter their appearance because of what they see online, even when they know it’s fake or AI generated. And according to their early research, was was the genesis for this campaign, only 2% of women globally consider themselves to be beautiful 🥺. (PS you are beautiful)

This book’s ending put me in a fight or flight response for 72 hours. Also, Sloane did it again with this one. We have been on a first name basis (in my head) since I was Told There’d be Cake, along with my other friends Miranda and Sheila. I just ordered Life as We Know It (Can Be): Stories of People, Climate, and Hope in a Changing World by climate correspondent Bill Weir and am excited to tuck into the optimism that is promised. (Book club links here).

🌈 Founder’s Corner

A MILLION DOLLAR PITCH COMPETITION: (!!!) My buddy Desiree Almodovar has been working tirelessly on Peerless Pitch, and it is the real deal. I encourage you to apply to get tapped into a great pool of resources. This competition is for founders that identify as Black, Latine, Native American and Female, have startups that are technologically innovative, and have not raised more than $1 million to date.

XRC did a great report on seed-series A benchmarks for the consumer market; This is definitely worth a read! Highlights: beauty and personal care m&a is going strong, with specialist funds having an advantage. Top trends: Beauty from the inside out, or outside in, ie: Jolie, bodycare and the “skinification” of personal care (there is that word again; I am not a fan- its’s giving Hannibal Lecter), and at home devices in beauty and personal care. Also- these survey results are so useful if you are a founder in this space….

From XRC’s Consumer Report

Also if you are a food and bev brand ( or snack obsessed) you need Andrea’s newsletter in your life.


$25k from Bold Beginnings (for founders under 30) (deadline August)

Y Combinator applications are open ($500k + 3 month program)

$10k and legal services from Fast Break for Small Businesses

BGV Emerging Leaders Fellowship ($5K monthly stipend + 12 week leadership program) for women of color founded based in LA, NY, Austin, or Chicago

🍰Shop Women-Founded Brands/Current Obsessions

Apparently these Myna Snacks for better-for-you but they seriously taste like Oreos (thanks Alex @ Chai Ventures for this swag bag hookup)

Why do I want this coffee in a tube so bad

These original floral painting by friend and artist Coco Flint- and curated by Courtney Kass of Le Bennett

This spaghetti dust is supporting me through my bolognese era

🍦Other Things No One Asked For

The sharks are wild….


shark caught on tape treasure island florida!!!! #sharksighting #fyp

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