When I had my first job as a trainee financial advisor at a building society, I snuck a look at my area manager's payslip to get a sense of where ambition and hard work could take me. One look told me that the life of a salary man wasn't for me. Six weeks later I'd taken a job at a city brokerage and I was hooked on working in a fast-paced environment. It was there I met the team I would go on to join my first startup as the sixth employee.
I've always been intrigued by the startup or very early stage environment. There’s a unique atmosphere, energy and excitement that stems from the potential to create something special. My first experience was at HIFX, where I ran the retail business with five global operations reporting to me. Ultimately, the business was sold to Euronet for £150m (five years too early for the great FinTech pricing boom). Then, after a brief stint running a headhunting business, I co-founded Currencycloud. This was before fintech was ‘FinTech’: we called it ‘new finance’.
VCs need Entrepreneurs in Residence to truly understand the founders they invest in. Every journey is unique, exciting, terrifying, exhilarating and lonely: One minute the silence can be deafening, the next a crowded room fights for your attention. CEOs often feel they have no one to turn to for help or advice. The early days of Currencycloud were like this until I found the support network that came with our investor community. Help, guidance, coaching, mentoring and a support network made a huge difference in accelerating new initiatives and avoiding pitfalls. Having someone who's 'been there, done that' or can connect you to someone with more specific experience is essential.
I’m excited to work with Volution, not least because it’s a myth that the first funding round is the hardest. You might run out of runway after Series A, before you prove the model or get product-market fit, which you need for cautious Series B investors. Volution does something unique by supporting companies in that tricky gap, when they need it the most.
Volution Ventures LLP (FRN: 969221), whose registered office address is 71-75 Shelton Street, London, WC2H 9JQ with registration number OC438000, is an Appointed Representative of Kin Capital Partners LLP (FRN:656789). Kin Capital Partners LLP, whose registered office address is Hyde Park House, 5 Manfred Road, London, SW15 2RS with registration number OC395229, is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).