MoMoLo: Finance, Incubators & Accelerators

mobilemondaylondon.gifLast Monday evening I was at Mobile Monday London where the topic was Finance, Incubators & Accelerators. John Spindler, of Capital Enterprise started the event with a whirlwind overview of finance in the UK. There followed a panel discussion consisting of Alistair Hill, from Device Research, Nic Brisbourne from DFJ Esprit, Sitar Teli from Connect Ventures, Michel Sabatier from Crelligo and Inmaculada Martinez of Opus Corporate Finance. Here are some insights gained from the event…
  • Seed and VC investment are only suitable for a small percentage of companies. These are actually the most expensive options. They are suitable for companies that have big ambitions (to become multi-million companies) within a relatively short time (3-5 years).
  • Investable companies usually have a ‘Hipster’ (domain expert who designs), a ‘Hacker’ (who develops) and a ‘Hustler’ (who distributes).
  • Crowdfunding and kickstarter-type sites are great for smoke testing an idea and getting pre-sales.
  • Metrics are important to prove you know what you are talking about and that the idea can scale.
  • The time when a 100,000 download app was investable is over. Today, you need to build a platform, not an app. You should be able to prove the platform has width (to take on new pivots) and depth (able to scale).
  • VC is mainly a referral business. You need to network and/or gain entry via others already in the finance industry in order to get seen.
  • Raising too much money can kill a business. This is also a previous observation of mine.
  • London currently receives a relatively small amount of seed and VC investment. However, there was 50% more seed investment last year than the year before.
  • Near future opportunities are seen to be money (people started purchasing for the first time substantially via mobile last year), health, M2M and connected devices (devices connected to consumer phones).