We had the good fortune of connecting with Filipp Chebotarev and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Filipp, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
I was working on the finance team at a large publicly traded healthcare company called DaVita before co-founding Cambridge Companies SPG. DaVita was an incredible organization and I credit the experience I got working there with laying the foundation for Cambridge SPG. Although I had an incredible job at a very successful company I felt that I wanted to grow professionally faster than the corporate world would allow. Prior to quitting my job I applied for several more senior positions, I was not selected for the positions and it gave me the final push I needed to quit and start my own business. The first two years of Cambridge SPG was very slow and we learned a lot as we went, leveraged corporate experience to lay a strong foundation for organizational development and later started attracting partners, bigger investment opportunities until we got traction. Today, Cambridge SPG is approaching $1B of transaction volume across a variety of sectors such as real estate and consumer products.

Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I started Cambridge SPG with my sister Polina Chebotareva in late 2010. We were both in a place where we were excelling in our careers, but were searching for bigger challenges. We partnered up on our first real estate acquisitions by pooling our savings and dividing the work load. Cambridge SPG initially reached financial success acquiring distressed real estate post the 2008 financial crises and subsequently divesting. Over a six year period Cambridge SPG raised over $300M of equity and participated in over $1B of real estate acquisitions and exits. The real estate market recovery led to a lack of new distressed acquisition opportunities and in search for yield the firm shifted to consumer products. We like high margins and high velocity consumable products that can have a positive impact on the daily routine of our customers. In 2016 Cambridge wanted to invest in branded consumer products in food, beverage, personal care and beauty. We established impact pillars and a set of guardrails around the businesses we would back. Those fundamental principals are reflected across the now vast and fast growing portfolio. Everything we invest in must be clean-label (non-GMO, Organic) and propel the future of commerce. Sustainability around agriculture and packaging are also an important driver in the Cambridge SPG portfolio company selection process. Today Cambridge SPG has over 26 portfolio companies and is on track to achieve $750M of annual gross revenue across the portfolio in 2020. Our group owns between 1% and 40% of each portfolio company.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Exploring the world around me is a gift that I consciously cherish. Taking in new experiences and learning has always led to personal growth and excitement so I would want to share those experiences and ask them to do the same. Since this is a hypothetical question rather than a practical one, the place I would take them is St. Tropez France. This little spot on the Earth has had a lasting impact on my perception of life and the world around me. St. Tropez July-August is filled with visitors from all over Europe, North America and the Middle East. This diverse crowd brings with them an energy, culture and mindset that is both thought provoking and entertaining. I definitely recommend!

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I am fortunate and blessed to be surrounded by optimistic, successful, and intelligent friends, family and business partners. I learned from them to define success by level of gratitude and I am very grateful for the many blessings in my life. There is still so much I want to achieve personally and professionally but I am deeply grateful for where I am today and who is in my close circle.

Website: cambridgespg.com
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/filippchebotarev
Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/filipp-chebotarev-385a472a/

Image Credits
Matt Doheny Photo @dohenyphoto

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