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Industry events / 08 June 2021

BVCA HighGrowth 2021 - Day 1 key takeaways (part 2)

BVCA HighGrowth 2021 - Day 1 key takeaways (part 2)

Across the 2 day event Crestbridge will publish a brief rundown of key takeaways from each session as the event unfolds. 

The event, which is deemed to be the UK's leading event for growth companies partnering with venture and growth capital, took place virtually for the first time and featured entrepreneurs, management teams and investors as they share their thoughts and experience on what it takes to succeed in today's environment.

Read our key takeaways below from the second part of Day 1 at BVCA HighGrowth.

A new approach to venture debt 

Raj Saxena, Founder and Managing Director, Juice Ventures
Interviewed by Leon de Bono, Assistant Director General, BVCA

  • We realised most important component of digital businesses’ success is about acquiring customers for marketing. 
  • We lend venture debt against marketing data. 
  • This is non-diluted finance, unsecured. 
  • You don’t have to be profitable, don’t even need significant revenue, but the most important aspect is your marketing data. 
  • Minimum we offer is £50,000 a month revolving credit facility. The highest we have offered is £4m. 
  • We have equity and venture debt. 
  • My advice: make sure you get your VC partner right, look for a partner who can help you with more than just giving you cash. 
  • Venture debt will grow in Europe. Within this, biggest growth will be in funding for user acquisitions because it’s such a large expense.
  • Venture debt already big in US. 

Quick-fire Founder pitches

Hosted by Jonathan Hollis, Managing Partner, Mountside Ventures

Pitches by:

Chris Griffiths, CEO & Founder, Ayoa

  • Aims for better productivity. An app where you can brainstorm your ideas, work together and get meaningful work done. Difference is that all the dots are in one place. 
  • Created by team that has been together for over 10 years. 
  • Over 8,000 paid accounts and half a million free accounts.
  • Churn rate rapidly improving. 
  • 25% conversion from web visitor to free sign up. 
  • Are raising £2m. 

Elly Pitt, CEO, Stitched

  • UK has £1.1bn made to measure curtain and blind market. We are revolutionising this industry through our tech platform. 
  • Already have thousands of customers, looking for long-lasting sustainable products. 
  • Want 4% of TAM by 2025 to take revenues to over £6m
  • Funds will be used for marketing, operations, technology.
  • Once have conquered UK will look at wallpaper, floorings and abroad, 

John Ryder, CEO & Founder, Hive

  • Big problem with iceberg of ignorance: vast majority of problems in organisations hidden form senior management.
  • We have employee voice platform that allows organisations to mobilise collective intelligence of whole workforce. 
  • Enables HR, middle management and senior management to make informed decisions. 
  • 4.9 out of 5 rating on peer-to-peer review site G2.  
  • Our revenue model is that customers buy annual license. 94% of all revenue is recurring
  • Expect 95% CAGR in coming years, cash break-even 2024, ebitda profitability 2025. 
  • Want to raise £4m. 

Carol Savage, CEO & Founder, Not in the Guidebooks

  • It’s the experience people remember on holidays and that’s what we provide. Tech-enabled marketplace that gives travel agents and travellers access to sustainable package. For travellers who don’t want to be part of group tour. 
  • Travellers want to be confident these experiences are sustainable and can fit into their agenda.
  • Agents want to be able to offer something a little different for their customers without having to research hundreds of different suppliers.
  • So we have brought local entrepreneurs onto one platform. 
  • No one is doing exactly what we do: there are tailor-made holiday companies but they do not offer specific daily experiences. 
  • Our target market within the UK is £2bn. 
  • We have raised £500k from angel investment and crowdfunding campaign with travel agents. 
  • We offer 1,000 immersive experiences. 
  • Have grown revenues over last 18 months. 
  • Want to raise £2m to make key hires, expand marketing and tech platform. 

Angel to venture: Understanding the working relationships between investors

Panel Moderated by Roderick Beer, Managing Director, UKBAA

Chris Adelsbach, Managing Partner, Outrun Ventures

  • The relationship between angels and VCs is generally quite good. Angels should be supportive and act as mentors to the founders. 
  • When relationship between angel VC investor not good: not many examples of that. When it hasn’t worked well, though rare, you back a company as angel and then there is a larger round and you have been crowded out, not able to take advantage of your pro rata. 
  • When works well, the founder, angels, VC and growth capital working together as team. When I invest as an angel I tell the founder I work for you now. 
  • For angel investors in early-stage companies, founders should not be arrogant, should understand that need a lot of help at this stage, should understand where the gaps are. 
  • Like fintech, including wealthtech. 

Carlos Eduardo Espinal, Managing Partner, Seedcamp

  • Current crop of angels people with experience of the industry. 
  • If have group of angels, useful because in your updates to investors can say does anyone have introduction to this person, to this company? can usually unlock resources more quickly in this way. Some of the larger funds value the network of angels. 
  • Founder should look for angel investor with experience in areas I don’t know about, access to large customers through key connections. 
  • We invest in wide range of sectors. 

Jeffrey Faustin, CIO and Partner, Jenson Funding Partners

  • Sometimes angels want in and want too complicated a structure. Simple agreement works better. 
  • Two distinct groups of angels: some want to come in early and be relatively passive, but some want to offer a lot more. 
  • We like digital marketplaces, small cheque sizes. 

Katie Marrache, Partner, JamJar Investments

  • Angel investors’ role changes, as companies move onto the next stage. But can still act as confidants without allocating more money. A lot of highly successful founders go on to become angels, so have good knowledge. 
  • In general massive fan of angels. Have rarely had bad experience.
  • Advice to founder is to create a structure and valuation that makes it likely VC can come in at the next round. If do have angel that very operational, be clear about way that compensation works. 
  • Founders should look for angel investors they can trust, and whose advice they respect. 
  • We invest in consumer brands. 

Follow us on LinkedIn for more key takeaways from BVCA HighGrowth 2021.

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