Pitch Deck is hosted by Nick Telson, founder of DesignMyNight, that he sold for over $30m in 2020. He is now co-founder at Horseplay Ventures; a startup playground. A startup founder has 5 minutes to pitch their business to Nick and guest Angel Investors/Mentors. They then all discuss the pitch and the business itself, asking questions an Investor would ask in a real pitch. The guest Angel and Nick then discuss what they make of the business and investment opportunity. 🌐 Top 5 Global Business Podcast 🚀 Top 3 UK Business Podcast 🧠 Top 3 UK Entrepreneurial Podcast @pitcdeckpod
#26 Circl - Social betting experience for everyone
52:08I was joined by the inspirational Andrew Wilkinson, founder of Tiny; he started product and branding agency Meta Lab in 2006 and was responsible for some of our most-loved and used companies such as Slack, UberEats, Coinbase, Pinterest and Headspace, to name a few. He then used MetaLab's profits to purchase other companies that have solid revenues, are designed well, have a great culture, and are profitable, which he knew he could rocket ship. Tiny now owns circa 30 companies, the likes of designer platform dribbble and the largest remote work community in the world, WeWork Remotely. Tiny has never relied on outside funding until recently where it launched a $150m fund to buy more businesses and for their own company WeCommerce, which has raised $60m, which is now on the Canadian stock exchange with a market cap of circa $1bn - WeCommerce buys and builds businesses that sit solely on the Shopify ecosystem. We listened to the pitch from Will, founder of Circl, which is looking to bring the concept of social betting to the masses. The concept being a group of friends form a Circl, put money in the pot then dependent on what happens in a sports match, the pot moves around the Circl...eg. A throw in, the pot moves clockwise two steps, a red card the pot moves anti-clockwise 4 steps etc...whoever has the pot at the end of the match takes it all. Circl is looking to bring the fun back into betting and make it a social activity, rather than something that's done in isolation and in excess. Andrew and I dug down on go-to-market strategy, where the concept could go beyond sport, the complications of the betting market and the team around Will. Brought to you by my Startup Playground, Horseplay Ventures - https://horseplay.ventures/ Circl - https://www.playcircl.com/ Tiny - https://www.tinycapital.com/
#25 Vesta Kids - Changing the way children engage online
47:39I was joined by Gemma Bloemen; Gemma was the Chief Operating Officer at Elder Technologies, a Series B health tech startup for the past 3.5 years, where she helped the company scale from 20 to 120 people and raise a series B in 2019. She has been an angel investor for the past two years and is very interested in Healthtech, Marketplaces, Agetech, Silver economy and Sustainability. 80% of her investments have been in female founders. Previously, Gemma was a senior manager at Uber in the UK where she co-chaired Women of Uber in 2017, and before that she was a consultant at McKinsey. Gemma left Elder this summer and has joined Creandum as an investment principal. Creandum is a pan European early-stage VC fund, having invested in companies like Spotify, Trade Republic and Depop. Gemma covers the London market and is focused on both B2C and B2B technology businesses. Pitching to us was Charlotte Melia, founder of Vesta Kids, a B2B2C subscription web platform and app providing educational, safe & active content for working parents and their wider families. Looking to sell the platform as a "perk" to companies to be able to provide their employees with kids with a video library and live, high-production content that they can get active with, learn and have fun. There is also a large emphasis on producing content that allows neuro-diverse children and neuro-typical children to play and learn together rather than being segregated. The founding team already have a successful events business that puts on bespoke events for the super-rich, so they come with a lot of expertise in production. We dug down on competing with big boys such as Netflix and Disney, being able to keep production values high, will online learning remain the norm post covid and the B2B2C vs B2C model.
#24 GoCaptain - Fintech helping Gen Z to learn to drive
43:03Please Note: The brand name has changed since recording from Captain Compare to GoCaptain I'm joined by Chris Smith, Managing Partner at Playfair Capital. He focuses his investing activities on seed (and pre-seed) deals in the UK and Israel. Chris is particularly interested in autonomous transportation, business and industrial automation, HealthTech and B2B SaaS. He loves finding companies operating in unloved/overlooked sectors that are ripe for disruption. Prior to joining Playfair, Chris held senior roles at plan.com including Sales Director, Head of Tech/BI and Head of Product Development. Revenues Playfair was founded in 2013 and has made 78 investments with 4 exits to date. Since Chris joined in November 2018, he has led 9 new investments, 3 of which have gone on to raise subsequent rounds so far, and we actually have one investment together into Heka a B2B employee well-being saas product and marketplace. We listened to the pitch from Abraham Sillah, co-founder of GoCaptain, which is looking to help GenZ pay for driving lessons and get them to pass the test quicker: Get driving lesson finance without affecting the applicants credit score enabling them to learn to drive much quicker than the average learner, by booking an intensive driving course with an instructor and learn to drive under 7/14 days. We really dug deep on the go-to-market strategy, proving the real need for the business, early startup team structures and understanding your numbers. Brought to you by my Startup Playground, Horseplay Ventures - https://horseplay.ventures/ GoCaptain - https://www.gocaptain.co.uk/ Playfair Capital - https://playfaircapital.com/
#23 Fugo - The future of managing digital screens
50:22I'm joined by Timothy Armoo, who is the CEO/Founder of Fanbytes and recently named in the Forbes 30 Under 30 list for his achievements in Media and Marketing; making the front cover no less! Timo has also been voted the Huffington Post Entrepreneur of the Year and most “Influential person in advertising” from the Evening Standard. Fanbytes is recognised as the leading GenZ marketing agency with over 60 employees and working with the likes of the Government, on some corona campaigns, Deliveroo, McDonalds and Nike. Huffington Post saying that he is creating the WPP of GenZ. Timo has also used his influence to build the Fanbytes fund which invests and funds influencer campaigns for black businesses, which aims to shine a light on, and act on, a lack of support and funding for black-owned businesses. We listened to the pitch from Camilla Chesham, co-founder of Fugo, who are looking to disrupt the content management solutions for digital screens. Think of all the digital screens you come across in your daily life...in restaurants, shop windows, hotel receptions, public attractions...the list goes on. Fugo is looking to replace the archaic way of managing these, which in a lot of cases is still a USB stick. Fugo content management system allows central head office to create and push relevant content to the relevant screens at the right times; all managed centrally. We really dug on go to market strategies, focus as founders, focus when selling and future opportunities
#22 Nuw - Tokenisation of swapping pre-loved clothes
46:21I was thrilled to be joined by guest investor, Alex Dunsdon. Alex was previously head of central strategy and business development director for M&C Saatchi. He was also co-founder of thebakery.com from Dec 2012 to Jan 2020, which enables corporates to drive meaningful innovation, as well as creating partnerships with startups. Alex moved on to be chief of staff at Redbrain, one of Europe's fastest-growing companies, helping them transform from startup to scaleup. Currently, Alex set up, and is partner at, Saatchi invest and is LP for Potential Climate Ventures who want to have a global scale impact on the climate - currently invested in and advising over 130 companies. Alex also set up Potential, which is set up to help the 7bn people in the world who have talent but no opportunity. Their mission is to find, foster and fund crazy, unusual, and innovative startups. Alex was also a seed cheque investor into Citymapper, Farewill and Ometria, as well as circa 20 other companies. Alex is also very keen on cryptocurrency so we bent his year at the start of the episode on all things Bitcoin and beyond. We listened to the pitch from Aisling Byrne, founder of Nuw, who are looking to help their users reduce the environmental impact of fashion, and gain unlimited access to the community’s shared wardrobe. While there are other fashion swapping/2nd hand fashion sites out there, Nuw have used a unique token system to ensure users trade the same quality of clothes, while taking money out of the whole equation. They have some very positive early traction including high repeat usage rates and are raising funds to help scale the product and market with the aim of having 12m active users over the next 3-5 years. We dug deep on scaling a marketplace, the revenue model, subscriptions, competition and feasibility of scaling the userbase so quickly. Brought to you by my Startup Playground, Horseplay Ventures - https://horseplay.ventures/ Nuw - https://www.thenuwardrobe.com/ Alex Dunsdon - https://www.linkedin.com/in/alexdunsdon/
#21 Kalda - Mental well-being app solely for LGBT+ community
53:43I'm joined by legendary west coast angel investor, Zach Coelius. Zach is a 4-time entrepreneur and his last company, Triggit was acquired by Gravity4 in 2015. From then on, Zach has become one of the most revered angel investors in the US with circa 50 investments to his name and 80 invested in total. He currently invests $200K-$1m cheques into early-stage companies and $2-$5m cheques into later-stage ones. Zach uses 3 vehicles for investing; a $45m fund with Industry Ventures as the sole LP; a friends and family Rolling Fund that invests alongside the main fund; and his own syndicate on Angel List that has over 3000 members and was actually the first syndicate on Angel List to get a billion-dollar exit when General Motors bought Cruise Automation in 2016. The syndicate has had 6 exits in total including Hello Sign who were acquired by Dropbox in 2019 for $230m. We listened to the pitch from Daniel Botcherby, co-founder of Kalda; the world's first mental well-being app specifically for the LGBT+ community. In Beta stage, Kalda is looking to bring together members of the LGBT+ community who are struggling with their mental health and provide group therapy sessions, daily check-ins, peer support as well as fixed courses people can go on. 1 in 2 people in the LGBT+ community have suffered some form of anxiety/depression in the last year, 3x the general population. Due to NHS wait times, high prices for individual therapy and stigma that LGBT+ people feel from a therapist not from their community, Kalda is looking to bring people together and at the same time democratise mental health services, making it affordable, easy to access, instant and being surrounded by peers and therapists from the same community. Zach prefers to engage in a more general conversation, rather than a grilling, so we had a chat more broadly about the market in general, expansion plans, future product roadmap and aspirations, competitors and the merits/risks of going after a niche. Some super insightful things highlighted by Zach as well as a very competent founder in Daniel. Brought to you by my Startup Playground, Horseplay Ventures - https://horseplay.ventures/ Kalda - https://kalda.co/ Zach Twitter - https://twitter.com/zachcoelius
#20 Hello Lamp Post - Would you talk to a bus stop or park bench?
45:28I'm joined by Pietro Invernizzi, first cheque investor at Stride.VC, who recently closed their second $138m seed fund and have recently officially launched the First Check Programme, where they are looking to back up to 20 teams straight out the gate as their first supporter, regardless of how early they are. Pietro started his career as an investment banking analyst in London before moving into the startup world where he joined The Family, the "coolest" place if you want to build a startup in France. Whilst there, he spent a ton of time working really closely with founders, helping them with all the 100s of questions they ask themselves when building a company, particularly around fundraising. In this context, he started 'angel investing' into the founders he was most excited by. He quickly realised that investing was his passion and so decided to join the now notorious Stride VC in June 2020, focusing on their early-stage investment. We listened to the pitch from Tiernan Mines, founder of Hello Lamp Post - looking to reimagine how local governments and councils engage with their community for feedback and ideas. By turning inanimate objects like bus stops, lamp posts and park benches into an engaging SMS conversation, the council can ask for, gather and analyse feedback from locals. The same can go for real estate developers, museums, stadia etc...any public space that wants to engage with its customers or locals. We dug down on the "why", the importance of their own tech, their true moat as a business and defining a true market opportunity. Brought to you by my Startup Playground, Horseplay Ventures - https://horseplay.ventures/ Hello Lamp Post - https://www.hlp.city/ Stride.VC - https://stride.vc/
#19 Salmo - Digitising the visa application process
48:36I'm joined by legendary investor and Forbes acclaimed, "Queen of UK VC", Eileen Burbidge. Eileen is a Partner at Passion Capital, the legendary early-stage tech venture fund with the likes of Monzo, Tide, Nested, Butternut Box & Marshmallow under their belts and is actually a Board Director with Monzo as well as being super involved with a lot of the other portfolio companies too. Eileen started her career in Silicon Valley, working for the likes of Apple, Yahoo!, and Sun Microsystems. In 2004 she moved to London to become one of Skype’s earliest employees. In 2011, Eileen became founding partner of Passion. She is also a member of the board of Dixons Carphone, and awarded an MBE in 2015 for services to Business. We listened to the pitch from Amber Perng, founder of Salmo - looking to digitise, speed up and make cheaper the visa application process, of which there are 1.5m a year in the UK. Based on her own experience having to get a visa after studying in the UK, Amber realised lawyers were charging £4K to fill out forms on your behalf and not much else...it could be better. We really dug on the tech importance of a business such as this, the genuine TAM, reaching that target market, the potential to sell more products to the visa customers and whether they are the team to execute. It also brought up an interesting parallel between Eileen (VC) and my (Angel) take on the investment prospects. Brought to you by my Startup Playground, Horseplay Ventures - https://horseplay.ventures/ Salmo - https://www.salmo.uk/ Playfair Capital - https://www.passioncapital.com/
Series 3 Trailer
1:32Super excited to announce that Series 3 will be launching soon. Series 3 is going to be the biggest yet, with some of the world's biggest and most renowned Angel Investors, VCs and Mentors, listening to pitches from some incredibly exciting startups. Listen to the trailer for Series 3 to see who we have lined up...it's going to be a banger of a Series!
#18 The Bunch - From professional rugby player to shared accommodation software
43:47I'm joined by Chris Smith, Managing Partner at Playfair Capital who focus on pre-seed and seed investments in UK and Israel. Chris is specifically interested in autonomous transportation, business automation, health tech and B2B SaaS. Chris is also an angel investor with 14 deals and 4 exits to date, previously an operator at plan.com and a corporate lawyer. We listened to the pitch from Elliott Herrod - Taylor, founder of The Bunch - looking to reimagine how tenants manage the process of shared accommodation. Elliott had a professional rugby contract with Bath but got bitten by a spider and got sepsis so 3 weeks later decided to go to Uni. He started The Bunch in his 2nd year of uni and took his 3rd year off to get the startup off the ground. The bunch is now in 30 cities, serviced 7000 customers and generates £4m gross revenue. Elliott has a vision to stay with a customer from 18 at university all the way through to renting a property as a young professional, with The Bunch sorting out bills, liability, finding a property and more. We dug down on managing and preventing churn, expanding out your customer base to improve stickiness, standing out against competitors and going up against some big boys within your industry. We also discuss the different angle taken by an Angel vs a VC. Brought to you by my Startup Playground, Horseplay Ventures - https://horseplay.ventures/ The Bunch - https://the-bunch.co.uk/ Playfair Capital - https://playfaircapital.com/