Tag Archives: Investment

LFP011 – 5 Key Challenges to the Success of UK Fintech plc with Dr Louise Beaumont of GLI Finance

GLI FInance's Platforms

GLI FInance’s Platforms

The Economist has described the emergence of huge numbers of Fintechs as a Cambrian Explosion. Will this be followed by a Mass Extinction?

I am delighted to be joined on the show today to discuss this by a uniquely qualified individual who has a background in solid BigCos, has co-founded a successful Fintech and advises key government departments on UK Fintech including the current Blackett review on Fintech.  This week she has been appointed as Head of Public Affairs and Marketing for GLI Finance.  GLI Finance is an AIM listed company that both invests in AltFi vehicles (see above) as well as investing through their platforms.

Louise is also a woman and one who was showcased in Brummell magazine as one of the top 30 most inspirational women entrepreneurs in the City.  So we warm up the show with the angle of women in Fintech – there ain’t many and the social narrative is rather PC these days. I see three threads at play here.  First what I experienced as the “70s narrative” of equality of identity; then the narrative (to which we all subscribe) of equality of opportunity; but more recently and a little perniciously perhaps a third of equality of outcome.  This last can (ironically) get unwittingly sexist – so for example one sees plenty of calls for more women in tech – but I have never seen many calls for more men in social media – whats that about then? 😀

Louise talks about five challenges, or vice versa five guiding principles for avoid the Mass Extinction of UK Fintech plc (we will have masses of extinctions at the startup level of course purely as so many startups die off anyway).

Around these challenges we touch on Continue reading

LFP008 – London Fintech’s Strengths and Weaknesses with Richard Goold of Wragge Lawrence Graham

wragge lawrence graham fintech

I have given this episode a huuuge write-up as it’s such a vital topic. So if you don’t want to read 2,500 words, listen instead 🙂

Let’s simplify a Fintech’s journey into three schematic stages:

  • Stage 1 “turning an idea into a product”
  • Stage 2:  “turning a product into a business
  • Stage 3: turning a business into a grown-up business” (IPOs, M&As etc)

In recent months I have come to see as London Fintech’s greatest strength in-depth right now as Stage 1. We could call this a Fintech-Startup … building your plane, taxiing to the runway, then accelerating down the runway and trying to get the wheels off the ground (clients).

Stage 2 is the bleeding edge in London which many are struggling with. The Fintech-Scaleup, going beyond a handful of early-adopters, Crossing the Chasm to use Geoffrey Moore’s famous title.

Stage 3 is a rarefied level where very few are at (generally the ones with eight figure funding). You might perhaps call this moving from being “a Fintech” to a “Mature Business in the FS sector” – they gradually start looking, feeling and acting more like young corporates.  They may IPO, they may remain private, they may sell themselves to an incumbent – but they are recognisably a mature business.

Historically a successful journey from inception to IPO/exit takes up to a decade. If you look at UK Stage 3s who aren’t at the exit yet eg Zopa was founded in ’05, Funding Circle in ’10, Crowdcube in ’10, Transferwise in ’11.

The bleeding edge phase changes of Stages 2 (“gas to liquid”?) and 3 (“liquid to solid”?) generally require accessing two elements – Capital Markets and Savoir Faire. It is the relative lack of these two factors perhaps that is proving a real “invisible barrier” for many London Fintech Startups and Scaleups right now.

In this episode we discuss why this is the case in London. How did it come about? What can we learn from the US? What advantages do we have under our nose?

Quite a lot for one episode!



Richard GooldI am extremely fortunate to be joined in this episode to discuss these issues by a man who has spent his whole career to date working with tech companies, and now Fintech companies, at all of the above three stages. Richard Goold is a partner at international lawyers Wragge Lawrence Graham who are the premier Fintech lawyers in London (they have the largest IPO practice on AIM for example).

Richard co-chairs the firm’s global Tech Sector Group which comprises 125 lawyers & travels a lot to San Francisco, New York and Boston.

He works with all stages of Fintechs from very early Stage 1 (who make use of the firms Jumpstart platform – a suite of free advice and documents) through to nine-figure deals for Stage 3s.

He started his career at the firm working with 3i on over 30 transactions in the days when 3i was the biggest investor in technology in Europe.  Thus he has a deep historical understanding about why we are where we are right now.

We have a wide-ranging conversation – Continue reading

LFP007 – Dot Coms to Fintechs, Lessons Learned by Michael Nulty, 40yrs+ as an Entrepreneur, Investor and Angel

Special agent Michael Nulty (well in his dreams anyway :-D)

Special agent Michael Nulty (well in his dreams anyway :-D)

Wisdom is massively under-rated in our data-driven society. Data, information, even knowledge can be learned.  Wisdom however has to be absorbed. Wisdom is the hard-earned distillation of decades of life experience. So in this summary today I can only scrape the surface with a precis of information and knowledge.  As always I just pick out a few points here – it’s a wide-ranging conversation. To absorb the wisdom you will need to listen and reflect.

Michael is a lifetime entrepreneur, He is a fellow of the Royal Society and he is currently founder and MD of Third Sector Finance which adapts Financial Services products to meet the needs of social enterprises in the UK. I met him at a digital currency day as he is both an investor in digital currencies as well as working on improving the blockchain (this distributed ledger that was discussed in LFP003). He is a non-executive director of Gnaratas a company in the renewable alternative fuel sector in Swaziland. In the second Gulf war he co-founded a company that became very active in supplying satellite comms businesses to the non-military allied forces.

I could go on but I think you get the drift. In a world where words get devalued bigtime Michael is a Real Entrepreneur with a capital R, capital E.

His seminal experience was starting a painting and decorating business in the Isle of Man.  He learned not only “pure capitalism” – employ good people, pay them x, bill x + y – but also from the millionaires whose gardens they also maintained.  Most of them were nice (a surprise) and all of them kept it very simple. K.I.S.S was an everlasting lesson.

One of his core experiences which may well help shed light on the current fintech boom/bubble is none of the above incarnations.  In the dot-com bubble. Michael was an active investor in a whole bunch of dot-com companies – most, but not all, of which went through the roof and then through the floor on the way down.  Taking a temporary early retirement in France he had plenty of time to reflect on what differentiated the succesful investments from the unsuccessful ones.

Lessons from Dot Com Boom Investing

Continue reading