I’m very excited to share some personal news: this week I’m joining Hambro Perks as a Principal on the investment team in London. I’m grateful to the team for this amazing opportunity and the confidence shown in me.
I will be investing in early-stage technology companies (Seed and Series A) with a focus on fin-tech, health, B2B Saas, media and consumer tech. I can’t wait to partner with entrepreneurs building foundational technology companies and to help our existing portfolio scale globally.
I know they are the best backers because I have been one of their founders.
Hambro Perks was the first institutional investor in Compass News, the machine learning journalism startup I co-founded. They were crucial in helping turn our idea into a fully-fledged company.
Their support ranged from strategy to operations. They helped us scale to the US, hire a talented and multidisciplinary team and close our fundraising rounds with valuable introductions to a global network of other VCs. Operationally, they helped with all the boring but essential stuff like accounting and legal that normally takes up to 30% of founders’ time and distracts from the business. All of this while supporting me personally as an entrepreneur, who happens to be a woman, in a world where just 2.2% of VC money goes to female founders.
I’m looking forward to learning more from George Davies, Dominic Perks and the rest of the team and to bringing new founders to Hambro Perks.
Being a founder means I understand the challenges entrepreneurs go through and the scale of their ambition. As a founder, you’re always thinking about big ideas that can change the world and how to execute them. In the US, 60% of investors have experience of running startups, but in the UK it is just 8%. I think this is a missed opportunity. Bold investors such as Hambro Perks can help turn founders’ vision into reality. So, for me, moving from being a founder to a VC feels like a natural move.
Like all founders, I had the wins, the losses and everything in between. I know how hard and rewarding it is to build an amazing team, scale a product from 0 to hundreds of thousands of users and close rounds of investment. But also how it feels to fire somebody for the first time. Sleeping on people’s sofas when flying out to meet a vital investor, only for our pitch to be cancelled at the last minute. I made mistakes and learnt so much.
I love working with founders. I’ve spent the past 5 years in London, San Francisco, New York, Delhi and Rome building a network of amazing entrepreneurs in all kinds of sectors and stages. More recently, as an entrepreneur in residence at Hambro Perks and mentor for Startup Bootcamp and Matter VC I advised startups on fundraising, operations and growth.
I now have a fantastic opportunity at a first-class firm to give a new wave of founders the chance to benefit from my experience and take this forward in my new role as an investor.
I can help companies across the full range of early-stage challenges: recruiting (how do you hire experienced and talented people with a limited budget?); fundraising (should I go with a top firm or a partner that I like?); product (what’s the best on-boarding process?); but my core focus is to help companies go to market.
I’ve spent my career working in growth at companies and organisations that differ widely in size and scale. I started off managing marketing campaigns for big corporates like Fox and Paramount. I then grew my startup to over 100k customers on a limited budget. From there I went to the Congress Party in India, where as the head of digital I set up the online strategy to target over 900 million voters and deploy a budget of over $7m during the 2019 general election. I want to use that experience to support founders scale quickly in their own market and internationally.
I’ll share every step along the way as I learn and get my hands dirty. Please stay in touch through Twitter or LinkedIn if you want to have a chat, catch-up or share ideas.
I’d be particularly keen to hear from anyone building innovative solutions in fin-tech, healthcare, B2B Saas, media and consumer tech. I’m making a commitment to reply to everyone within 7 days!