Tag Archives: Fund Raising

LFP129 – IPO-ing & Patient VC Capital Via Closed-End Funds? w/Tim Levene CEO Augmentum

Today we merge two fascinating topics – the Gold Medal for a startup – the Public Listing and innovating in Venture Capital to provide more patient capital. Our guest who connects these two is super-serial entrepreneur Tim Levene who listed Augmentum last year and is a real Fintech insider being on the Boards of Iwoca, Zopa, Seedrs, amongst others.

Tim’s career is most impressive, as we shall hear in the show – did you know he founded London’s juice bars called Crussh.

Before we turn to weaving in the Augmentum model of venture capital provided not from a limited lifetime fund but from a “permanent capital” closed-end investment trust let’s turn to listing which is something Augmentum have been through themselves

When you are a NewCo or Startup it seems inconceivable (even if you go round proclaiming the opposite) that one day you might be listed on the LSE. It can seem like starting some sport tomorrow and ending up being selected to run for your country. So there is quite some sense of achievement for the founder in doing so.

However wiser older owls realise that listing is no nirvana – ask Funding Circle who listed at 440p at the end of September and were trading seven months later at little over half this price at 250p.

Topics discussed on the show include: Continue reading

LFP124 – The Reality of Being an Entrepreneur w/Ruzbeh Bacha CEO CityFalcon

What is it actually like being an Entrepreneur? Despite being experienced and having an MBA Ruzbeh Bacha, CEO of personalised news aggregator/filter CityFalcon has found that the reality is very different from expectations. What is it really like? How hard can it be?

Media narratives are of some startups achieving amazing success with amazing amounts of work. Well the amazing amounts of work come to them all but the super-duper successes are perhaps less than 1%. And – like restaurants – most startups fail but one never gets to hear of those.

In between the great triumphs and the failures is a large limbo land. The reality is that for the majority of Fintechs that started say five years ago and are still going they have scored some successes (otherwise they wouldn’t be here). But, rather like swimming in a gloopy soup, there is much friction along the way be it the crazy times it takes to raise funds (every year being the rough rule of thumb) or crazily long purchase processes and buying decisions for BigCos or even with App Banks that boast millions of users (and so get into tech print as being “worth” billions the difficulty of actually doing the making money thing.

Topics discussed on the show include: Continue reading

LFP111 – The Role and Purpose of P2P Aggregators with Iain Niblock CEO Orca

Using “P2P loosely there are over fifty to invest in, all with different standards and approaches. It’s a “fragmented and complex” market. Professionals do much due diligence before investing. How is an individual investor to cope? One strong contender for The Answer is “Aggregators” who do the due diligence, sign you up with said platforms and offer model portfolios

Iain Niblock co-founder and CEO joins us today to lay out the problems and challenges of investing in “P2P” which in practice covers many approaches in a diverse landscape.

Orca are also a rare example of a well-regional Fintech being based in Northern Ireland with an office in Edinburgh.

Topics discussed on the show include:  Continue reading

LFP105 – Execution-Only Stockbroking in the Digital Age with Adam Dodds CEO Freetrade

The ultimate disintermediation in FS is for folks to directly buy shares/binds directly and cut out the whole investment management industry as we know it.

Even better if it’s cost free to deal. This amazing proposition is becoming real as Freetrade’s core offering gets rolled out to its first users and we are joined today by founder and CEO Adam Dodds to dive into this whole world.

Freetrade is a member of the London Stock Exchange but at the same time a real Fintech, designed from the ground up for the digital age of Fintech.

Topics discussed include:  Continue reading

LFP104 – A Deep Dive into UK Fintech Financing, Performance and Valuation w/Michael Pearson Clarus Investments

Michael is the author of “The Fintech Financing and Performance Report” and expert on strategy and innovation in financial services. In this show we dive into the third edition of his report and dive into the critical and fascinating topics of how UK Fintechs have funded themselves, what their valuations have done over time and attempting to measure their performance.

We are all used to seeing big picture, top-down reports saying a gazillion dollars has flowed into Fintech since a week ago Tuesday and hence taking it all with a pinch of salt.

However Michael’s “Fintech Financing and Performance” report [available via Clarus Investments] is hardcore stuff being based on data held at UK Companies House (where in passing its essentially illegal to knowingly file incorrect data).

Topics discussed on the show include: Continue reading

LFP086 – What a 21stC Clearing Bank can do for you with Nick Ogden, Executive Chairman ClearBank

Nick Ogden is, inter alia, the founder of the FTSE Worldpay and a bunch of other interesting businesses. In 2014 he created ClearBank the UK’s first clearing bank for 250yrs and is setting out to show what a modern, hi-tech clearing bank can offer existing Banks, Fintechs and Corporates.

Its mission is “to create greater competition, transparency and leading edge technology to the banking market.”

 

Historically the function of Clearing Banks were to clear cheques when there were hundreds of banks in the Uk and traversing the country took days.

This function expanded and now Clearing Banks clear payments of all natures – in the UK FPS, CHAPS, BACS (Direct Debits et al). Clearing banks are basically the experts at “transaction banking”.

But onto the show – how do you disrupt an oligopoly – four clearers control most of the market?

What can one get if one starts with a fresh tech stack rather than piling more on top of tops?

This topics and much more discussed on the show include:  Continue reading

LFP084 Insuretech – Using the Internet of Things to Protect your Home with Matt Poll CEO Neos

The so-called Internet of Things is much hyped and early examples (smart toasters anyone?) are worthy of ridicule. However market-leading Neos have taken it to the next level – using insurance, your phone and devices installed in your home to protect you against fire, water and burglary – or at least notify you and then get their servicers to fix the problem – even when you are on the other side of the world.

If like me you had never heard of smart doorbells and smart valves – or if you have – this is a podcast for you.

Matt Poll was a 20yr insurance man, latterly running More Than at RSA until he joined the world of startups and founded Neos.

In this show we dive beneath the froth and the hype to find out how you can sleep easier when on holiday, or simply in the office and why the Internet of Things is becoming a reality available to us all now.

Topics discussed on the show include: Continue reading

LFP072 – Socially Beneficial Fintech & Personal Cashflow Management with Emanuel Andjelic co-founder of Squirrel

Squirrel’s self-description is:

a smart new way of budgeting and saving that helps you resist that temptation to spend. We work in partnership with employers, local authorities, housing associations and credit unions to bring better money management to the widest possible audience.

Squirrel’s 7,000 clients range from those on benefits to those earning more than £100k – as Emanuel puts it “there are spenders and savers” and this tendency he believes is already formed when a child is still in single digits – and hence in place later regardless of adult income levels.

In this episode though, for the main course we focus on “socially beneficial Fintech” – or in less euphemistic terms what Fintech as a whole can do for those with little money. All too often the vast majority of Fintech – for all the PC buzzword terms like “financial inclusion” ends up just being a tool for the top 1%/10%.

Recent benefit changes in the UK have led to significant problems for folks who are unemployed or underemployed and these are only going to get worse if current plans are rolled out further. In this episode Emanuel, co-founder and Chairman of Squirrel takes us on a deep dive into the economic circumstances and changes. He also talks very honestly about his own personal and significant struggles with debt.

In this show topics discussed include: Continue reading

LFP070 – Fintech & the UK Mortgage Advice Market with Ishaan Malhi Founder & CEO Trussle

Trussle are the UK’s first online mortgage broker, have just raised £4.5m in a Series A and have an exclusive partnership with the FTSE listed property search giant Zoopla. So they are doing well for a two year old startup 🙂

I am joined today by founder and CEO Ishaan Malhi to discuss why this sector is so important.

As often it’s the old-fashioned and unsexy stuff that is ripe for disruption. In the case of mortgage advice though there is another astounding nanny state regulatory change that has made it even more important to have a low cost Fintech solution.

In essence (FCA summary here) in the UK if you want to keep certain legal protections (not defined but being able to complain about mis-selling appears to be one) you must take mortgage advice :-!  And this advice can be quite expensive as we shall hear.

And if you want to talk about a world orientated around the 0.1% (corrupt state?) if you are part of the 0.1% – then like taxes you don’t need to bother! Golly gosh. And if you think I exaggerate check out the FCA’s webpage in re.

So can Fintech ride to the rescue?

Well apparently it can, although what is defined as “advice” is very fluid in a world spanning old-fashioned advice and more automated Fintechs.  In LFP069 we discussed advice on your asset side of the balance sheet. In this context LFP070 is about advice on the liabilities side of your balance sheet.

Trussle’s strapline is:

The hassle-free way to get a mortgage online. We search more than 11,000 deals from 90 lenders to find the perfect mortgage for you.

Not only that but you can enter your mortgage details at the moment and they will monitor all those deals on an ongoing basis and let you know

All this and more is discussed on the show, including: Continue reading

LFP067 – Rethinking Banking: Marketplaces and App-Only Banks with Tom Blomfield CEO Monzo Bank

LFP Banner MonzoReformation or refactoring of banking is the Holy Grail of the Fintech Revolution. Do that and the revolution is a big deal. Get nowhere near and its all rather marginal. So-called challenger banks have ended up rather same-y. Will “App-only” banks end up going down the same route forced my micro-regulation and micro-supervision into the same tight mould. Or will they somehow remain within the constraints of the mould but somehow break it at the same time?

Its that paradox that faces Tom Blomfield CEO and founder of Monzo Bank. (and co-founder back in the day of GoCardless who were on the show in LFP046) A long way towards full authorisation as a bank will they become merely “me-too” or will they refactor banking as we know it?

Tom BlomfieldI have been an interested spectator on the sidelines for come time wondering which way the ball will bounce. At Lendit Europe 2016 I finally succumbed and took one of Tom’s pre-paid Mastercards – not least as which they offer wholesale exchange rates abroad and I was just off on holiday. It’s actually quite cool and more useful than expected. Certainly one gets a clear idea of what its like to feel like the business is really focusing on you as a customer-centric organisation with great design and service.

But back to the big picture – will Tom change the mould or will the mould change Tom?

Topics discussed include: Continue reading