We asked 23 of Europe’s wealthiest and most successful entrepreneurs who invest back into startups what they’re looking for

European entrepreneurs

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After years spent pitching to venture capitalists and building their companies from the ground up, many startup founders like to get a taste for what it’s like to sit on the other side of the table. 

From the founder of divorce services startup Amicable to the man behind wildly successful property platform Zoopla, we asked 23 of Europe’s founders-turned-investors what it’s like to pivot from pitcher to pitchee — and what advice they have to share.

In no particular order, these are some of the top founders-turned-angels every entrepreneur in Europe should know: 

Alex Chesterman, serial unicorn founder of property site Zoopla and car marketplace Cazoo

“I have been investing as an angel in UK startups for about 10 years now. I like disruptive business models and when there is a great team seeking to use technology to improve a market then I am interested in getting involved.

“There are essentially three things I want to hear from founders when I look to invest. Firstly, what it is that they are trying to achieve and why. Then I want to know why the team is better and are going to win.

“And finally I want to understand the size of the prize. The team is the single most important factor for me in any investment decision.”

David John, founder and CEO of consumer points fintech Loyalize

Portfolio includes: Edtech startup Gamicate, social platform MyRound

“I’ve always loved investing. At university, I formed an investment club with friends. The trend continued after I graduated, when I became a commodity trader before eventually leaving to start my own business.

“Having gone through the process of raising money to grow the business, I wanted to know what it was like sitting on the other side of the table — identifying opportunities not only to put money in, but where I felt I could help through my knowledge and experience having gone on this journey myself.”


Pip Wilson, cofounder and CEO at divorce services startup Amicable

Portfolio includes: Tampon subscription service Ohne, recruitment firm Juggle Jobs

“Experiencing both sides of the founder-investor relationship has been really beneficial.

“I know what founders are going through and can draw on my own experience to support them constructively. I also know what I value as an investor. I work best with founders who provide timely and concise updates, so I try and work with Amicable’s investors in the same way.”

Ismail Jeilani, founder and CEO of tutoring platform Scoodle

Portfolio includes: Stocktrading app Freetrade, group messaging app Picnic

What’s it like being on the other side of the table, as an investor rather than an entrepreneur?

“I think the most interesting insight, when you’re an investor and not a founder, is seeing what conviction ‘feels’ like. The feeling that this idea could reach tens of millions of people around the world is exciting.

“Often, I reflect on what gives me that feeling from startup pitches. Then, I think about my own pitch for Scoodle … The most impressive thing you can do is execute very quickly, that is, achieve …read more

Source:: Business Insider


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