- In 1995, I was on the founding team of one of the first UK ISPs called Star. Learning as we went, high risk, no backup plan, but with the energy to do things differently. I think those early startup days taught us what would now be termed ‘repeatability and scalability’. We were passionate about ensuring we had the right sales & marketing model and that all teams adhered to the same behaviours. It was about providing market fit to then scale and raise external capital.
- After a decade at Star, I moved to our sister company MessageLabs to roll out the already-strong UK business to Europe and beyond. Post exit, I set up a Healthcare tech venture ‘Sarum Oncology Fund’ which invested in diagnostics and medtech businesses looking to change the cancer landscape, before heading back to the B2B SaaS space and establishing Armada Ventures, a vehicle for raising institutional capital into A and B round SaaS businesses. It was while on this journey that I spotted the gaps in the funding space that formed the early thinking around Volution.
- Volution is fundamentally differentiated in that we actively look to deploy money into growth stage companies who prefer to delay their next formal funding round by taking on convertibles: a space where no other fund will engage with a first cheque. This – coupled with the flexibility to be able to acquire secondaries – allows us to help founders in ways many others can’t, while giving fantastic access to later stage businesses for our Investors. We aim to break the Venture mould by plugging the gaps that CEOs desperately need to be addressed.
- At Volution, we try to be collaborative and supportive without being a burden. We work with management teams on their forward-looking strategy and funding needs rather than spending too much time on backward-looking reporting. Alongside our Entrepreneurs in Residence, we like to be operationally involved where we can underpin growth plans and help to solve real issues.