Tag Archives: Venture Capital

LFP171 – The Past, Present and Future of Venture Capital w/Josh Bell Dawn Capital

Venture Capital is nigh-on essential for many ambitious, big-build, fast-scaling Fintechs and Techs in general. Fund raising is essential. Thus how the VC market is evolving is of the utmost importance to ambitious firms and founders.

In this episode Josh Bell one of the founding partners of leading London-based European-wide VCs Dawn Capital who have raised over a billion to invest in growing businesses joins us to look back, look around now and look into the future. How can you best raise funds? Plenty of learn…

Topics discussed include: Continue reading

LFP170 – Three Major Indicators That Insurtech Is Making Demonstrable Progress Changing An Industry w/Andy Rear

Andy Rear was until recently head of the innovative Digital Partners, MunichRe’s London subsidiary which pretty much invented Reinsurance (/Insurance) As A Service (which he covered way back in LFP074). In this episode he rejoins us to present evidence that Insurtech is actually changing an industry.

Andy himself is off to do Non-exec-ing and a PhD in Pensions behaviour and so this might well be his swansong podcast on the topic of Insurtech and as such an industry leading figure it’s a must-listen! Has Insurtech changed an industry – Andy lays out the evidence and you decide…

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LFP169 – A Serial Entrepreneur’s Guide To Fund-Raising w/Peter Keenan CEO Apexx Global

Capital-raising is an absolutely core-skill for entrepreneurs and their growing businesses – and every tech business de facto needs to grow (margins low and intense competition).

Peter Keenan, CEO and co-founder of merchants-payments provider Apexx Global, has raised capital in a total of five companies and thus talks to us from a position of considerable personal experience.

Most capital raisings most of the time for most companies are challenging processes. Thus all can benefit from hearing experiences and case studies – whether one has never done it, or whether one has done it many times.

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LFP162 – The Past and Future of Fintech w/Vinoth Jayakumar Partner Draper Esprit

Draper Esprit are one of London’s longer-established VCs and with investments in the likes of Revolut, Transferwise, Thought Machine, Seedrs, Crowdcube and Freetrade might know a thing or two about Fintech. Draper Esprit, like Augmentum who we had on the show last year are also a listed AIM and thus also can offer finance not tied to the cycle of underlying funds – the so-called patient capital model.

Vinoth not only leads Fintech investments at Draper Esprit but has had a long running interest in the sector being at a Zopa Party in around 2007/2008 long before almost every firm now on the scene existed.

In this episode he picks out the key developments in Fintech over the past decade and a half, some of the takeaway lessons that all businesses can implement, some of the challenges and ends with his prospects for the upcoming decade.

Topics discussed on the show include: Continue reading

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

LFP120 – Two Tribes: VCs and CEOs (w/a side-order of #StableCoin) w/Steve Findlay CEO BondMason

Today the super-important topic of “What VCs don’t know about Entrepreneurs;  and what Entrepreneurs don’t know about VCs”. Steve Findlay is a great guest to have to discuss this as he has been a long-time VC and now founder/CEO (Bond Mason and AAA Reserve). How can this culture divide, objective divide be best managed? How can the tribes get along better? For sure having a successful board is definitely a win-win proposition.

There can be considerable “challenges” in Fintechs between these two tribes – investors and founders/management. This challenge of “two tribes” is centuries old. In my interviews with now over 60 folk on the management of the unlisted board the most vitriol by far has come from founders/CEOs about VCs. Equally as you might imagine VCs biggest pain can be the management of a firm.

Steve spent 12 years investing and advising in technology VC and mid-market private equity, including co-founding Fidelity’s $500M technology buyout fund. He had a coding sabbatical in 2012-13, is an angel investor, along with BondMason who  enable clients to invest in loans secured against UK property he has cofounded a stablecoin startup.

So as well as our topic du jour we also have a dive into #StableCoin – a first on the show.

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LFP056 – “Everything You Wanted to Know About Fintech Venture Capital But Were Too Afraid To Ask” with Rob Moffat Partner at Balderton Capital

Balderton BannerI am  delighted to welcome Rob Moffat, Partner at Balderton Capital to dive into the topic of Venture Capital and Fintech.  As I aim to present London Fintech in the round I have been – for a long time – keeping my eye open for a friendly VC to have on the show. This has taken two years would you believe!

Viewed from Mars you might think this is curious given how the whole mainstream tech media is so focused on fund-raisings, so-called valuations (and fantasy animals with one horn), and the whole machismo around money.

Viewed not from Mars the VC sector globally is perhaps rather problematic. If this is a surprise to you then I recommend as an entry point Diane Mulcahy’s 2014 Harvard Business Review article Venture Capitalists get well paid to lose money. As a former VC she knows where to direct the fire – high fees, illiquidity and underperformance. As I recall in the greatest tech boom ever, in the US the aggregate stats are something like that the average VC hasn’t even returned to the investors the funds they raised, let alone got a carry cheque (the performance related fee).

Furthermore as we heard way back in LFP008 with Richard Goold the UK/European venture capital market was very thin indeed in most of the 20th Century (post-WW2 the UK basically had the (originally government) 3i as the only player for a long time) and returns were poor.

Set against this virtually every Fintech that scales needs VC money – without which there would be no boom at all.

Equally like in all industries there are always some good players with a reputation for adding value. It was such a lead that led me to Balderton Capital who are one of the real players in the London Fintech scene.

Rob MoffatRob also writes a lot on the industry – I recommend his blog – and is on the board of seven of Balderton’s investments, the best-known of which in UK Fintech are perhaps GoCardless and Nutmeg. Balderton invests around £20m per annum into Fintech.

Above and beyond this Rob is – finally – someone who is happy to talk on air about the reality of VC and Fintech. As he joined the firm in 2009 (from Google) he has experienced the Fintech world from roots through shoots and now into a rather varied garden.

There is more than plenty discussed on the show, key topics include: Continue reading