What does Nexus Investments look for in businesses and their founders?
Our MD, Matthew O’Kane, is in the hot seat with David Bell from to discuss the Nexus mindset.
What does Nexus Investments look for in businesses and their founders?
Our MD, Matthew O’Kane, is in the hot seat with David Bell from to discuss the Nexus mindset.
For the fourth episode of The EIS Navigator, Brian is joined by Matthew O’Kane, MD of NIVL at Nexus Ventures.
Nexus are thematic investors, so Brian and Matthew discuss how to find and invest in good themes. Matthew gives a couple of examples, showing how he built an investment thesis and how these have worked out.
Matthew joined Nexus in 2013. He devised and launched Nexus’s first EIS Fund, the Nexus Investments Scale-Up Fund, which was shortlisted for Best Generalist EIS Fund and Best Sector Specialist at the 2019 Investment Week Tax Efficiency Awards. He acts as an angel investor and active mentor to many of the UK’s brightest healthcare and education and food tech founders.
PRESS RELEASE: London, 14 February 2020.
Nexus Investments are delighted to announce an investment into the award-winning health tech scale-up Kafoodle. This investment represents Nexus Investments’ 75th round of EIS investment since 2014, totalling £12m of EIS invested capital, and is the 9th investment made by the Scale-up Fund, which was launched late 2018 ( www.scaleupfund.co.uk )
Kafoodle is a fast-growing food-tech company that enables commercial kitchens, specifically in hospitals, care homes, schools and corporate catering, to manage the ever-increasing demands of dietary requirements whilst still being able to control margins. Their innovative and easy-to-use SaaS product is already used by large organisations such as OCS, The Compass Group, MHA and HC One, and are now planning to accelerate sales and grow recurring revenues with this new funding round.
Nexus strongly believes that Kafoodle answers an increasingly growing need in society. In the UK alone, there are 532,000 commercial kitchens that need to be compliant on the provision of food allergen information to consumers, and there is also heightened consumer awareness and desire for nutrition transparency. Kafoodle offers an easy and effective solution to these demands.
Furthermore, Kafoodle fits perfectly into Nexus’ Investment strategy; a company primed to scale, led by an entrepreneurial and inspiring team, and is operating at the epicentre of the 4 sectors that Nexus specialise in – Data, Digital, Education & Health. See the rest of our portfolio segmented into sectors below, and more information can be found on either of our websites: www.scaleupfund.co.uk or www.nivl.co.uk
With this new level of funding, Nexus are looking forward to working with and watching Kafoodle grow in the many years to come.
Tarryn Gorre, CEO – Kafoodle:
“We are delighted to welcome Nexus as one of our new investors. They bring with them a wealth of knowledge and experience of the education, healthcare and tech sectors. Securing investment from funds of the calibre of Nexus is a great endorsement of what we have achieved to date and with their support we believe Kafoodle can realise its full potential as a leading food-tech innovator.”
Are you an HNW/ Sophisticated private investor or financial adviser who wants to support some of the most exciting scale-ups in the UK, whilst mitigating your risk through EIS? If so, drop us a message!
About Nexus Investments
Nexus Investment Ventures Limited (NIVL) was founded in 2014 to focus on high-growth entrepreneur-led UK EIS investments following successful investments made by Nexus group over the past 25 years. NIVL take a nurturing approach through active involvement on the board, or advisory board of the company and through the introduction of appropriately experienced investors to help guide these businesses as they scale in the UK, and often globally. Nexus is owned by entrepreneur and financier, Harry Hyman, who in 1996 founded, and is still managing director of Primary Health Properties Plc. PHP is a FTSE-250 listed Real Estate Investment Trust with over £2.3bn AUM itself. Nexus also owns Investor Publishing and runs the International Opera Awards. He was featured in the business section of the evening standard recently.
Now with over £2.3m AUM, the Nexus Investments’ Scale-Up Fund (“the Fund”), continues its route to £10m overall, and addresses a large gap in the market by focussing on three of the most exciting areas of change in the world today, Data, Education and Health. It specifically deploys EIS investors’ capital into a portfolio of 8-10+ UK scale-ups with global ambitions.
PRESS RELEASE: London, 11 December 2019.
Nexus Investments, a division of Harry Hyman’s Nexus Group, today announces that it has doubled the AUM within its specialist Data, Education and Health EIS investment vehicle within its first year of being operational.
Now with over £2m AUM, the Nexus Investments’ Scale-Up Fund (“the Fund”) launched on 30 November 2018, continues its route to £10m overall, and addresses a large gap in the market by focussing on three of the most exciting areas of change in the world today, Data, Education and Health. It specifically deploys EIS investors’ capital into a portfolio of 8-10+ UK scale-ups with global ambitions.
Exciting UK scale-up brands
The Fund has already made 8 investments ranging between £100k and £180k within the first 12 months, highlights include:
MarcoPolo Learning Inc. – Education – started in New York, now officed in Victoria. An education tech content brand with over $15m of funding behind it, it provides a PhD-designed early learning curriculum including fun games and tools for a global audience of parents to download for their 3-7 year olds to watch and learn from on tablets and phones (an antidote to endless Peppa Pig repeats on YouTube)
Everpress – Digital – officed in Shoreditch. A platform which enables creative artists, influencers, designers, musicians and brands to sell merchandise with their own designs to their social media followers by organising limited edition sales campaigns. Everpress splits campaign profits with the creators (and also “reduces waste in fashion” because of the absence of returns or unwanted merch). This year’s viral Egg campaign arranged some its merchandise through Everpress.
iPushPull – Data – based at We Work Moorgate. A real-time data-sharing software business, popular with capital markets and banks. “It doesn’t sound particularly sexy” but helps multiple users work with and edit the same piece of data concurrently and securely, using chat and other messaging services. Improves workflow.
Fundamental VR – Health/Education/Digital/Data – “flight simulators for surgeons”, giving medical personnel access to the best Virtual Reality simulations to speed up qualification of surgeons world-wide, by combining high fidelity with high function haptic (touch) experiences. Customers and investors include the Mayo Clinic. Recently completed £5m investment round.
All of the above are run from headquarters in London, UK, and make substantial sales all over the developed world. Yet are largely unheralded/unknown.
Another stand‐out Fund investment, Medic Spot has received substantial UK local press in recent weeks, with Healthcare and the NHS at the centre of the general election, and NHS commitments made by all parties. Medic Spot has developed a digital health solution which allows doctors to perform remote examinations using equipment placed in pharmacies and operated by the patient. The kit enables GPs to listen to a patient’s heart and lungs remotely, look into their ears and throat and take their vital readings including blood pressure, oxygen levels and body temperature – all without needing to be in the same room. A national survey of patients who have used the service revealed 40 per cent would have gone to accident and emergency if they had not had the ability instead to use Medic Spot. The company has successfully rolled out to 250+ pharmacies to date and has doubled monthly revenues since Nexus’s initial investment in July 2019. The company continue to progress in the private market and have gained significant interest from NHS bodies.
Because of its skill in spotting and supporting important businesses like the ones above:
– Nexus Investments have recently been shortlisted as Best Single Sector specialist, and Best Generalist EIS Fund Manager at Investment Week’s Tax Efficiency Awards.
– Matthew O’Kane, Managing Director of Nexus Investments has been recently featured in the Sunday Times Business Section discussing his learnings from more than 20 Angel investments made since 2014.
– Alternatives Platform Wealth Club recently made their interview with Matthew their video of the week.
The next monthly subscription cut off for the Scale-Up Fund will be on 16 December 2019, and then on 31 January 2020. Fund details can be found at www.scaleupfund.co.uk
The fund is available for Wealth Managers and IFAs to access for their advised clients, but also for sophisticated private investors to apply directly.
Matthew O’Kane said: “Irrespective of this Friday’s election result, we continue to see proof that tomorrow’s greatest global challenges and therefore biggest global opportunities remain in the Data, Education and Health sectors. These are resilient sectors where the UK is respected throughout the world for both innovation and expertise. “
He continued “Nexus Investments are quietly developing a really positive track-record of talent-spotting UK people and products to back in our three core areas, and producing demonstrable results for EIS investors. Having doubled its AUM in just its first year, our Scale-Up Fund should be of interest and relevance to advisors and private EIS investors alike. If the founders succeed, we will succeed, so the stories behind our portfolio should also hopefully be of interest to journalists wanting to report on what is really happening in the spaces of investment, innovation and entrepreneurship, not just in Silicon Valley, but here in London and the UK”
More details on the portfolio can be found at www.nivl.co.uk.
Fund details can be found at www.scaleupfund.co.uk
For press queries or to book our Managing Director for media comment, please do contact the Nexus Team on 0207 104 2068 or at [email protected]
Some background on Nexus
Nexus is owned by entrepreneur and financier, Harry Hyman, who in 1996 founded, and is still managing director of Primary Health Properties Plc. PHP is a FTSE-250 listed Real Estate Investment Trust with over £2.3bn AUM itself. Nexus also owns Investor Publishing and runs the International Opera Awards.
The Fund’s Independent Investment Advisory Committee members include Keith Mansfield, formerly London Chairman of PwC, and Stephen Lawrence, Chairman of Protocol Education. Together with Matthew O’Kane, the Principals and Investment Advisory Committee have invested over £450,000 in the Fund on the same terms as external investors.
Early-stage digital EIS companies that were backed by Nexus some years prior to the Fund, such as www.boclips.com (video clips for classrooms – 2014) and www.pobble.com (literacy app for teachers to teach writing – 2016), are already part of the changing face of education teaching world-wide.
Matthew O’Kane is available for media interviews, or comment, on topics around
b. tax-efficient investments
e. venture and angel investing
(similar to those he recently touched on here in an interview at BBC Parliament’s studios https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NLaMcz4l6hk )
Avid readers of the Sunday Times may have spotted a familiar face in 16 June’s edition. Managing Director of Nexus Investments, Matthew O’Kane, was featured in the weekly “Q&A with an Angel Investor section.” Click the link here for some of Matt’s insights on start-ups, and types of businesses he likes to back.
Nexus Investments has partnered with the Enterprise Investment Scheme Association (EISA) to provide a very useful 24-page guide to EIS & SEIS. The guide thoroughly explains the roles of EIS and SEIS, how investors can benefit and how diversification is just one of the ways to manage the perceived risks in private company investment. It also includes detailed information on recent changes, such as the introduction of “Knowledge Intensive Companies”.
The guide is available in PDF here or hard copy, please contact us and we will be delighted to send it to you.
As a reminder, the Nexus Investments’ Scale-Up Fund is Evergreen and therefore open each month for investment. It provides UK tax-paying investors with a diversified, curated portfolio of 8-10+ EIS qualifying businesses, operating in the Data, Digital, Education and Health sectors.
We are delighted to announce the first tranche completion of Nexus Investments’ EIS Scale-Up Fund took place in November 2018.
Total investment to date in just 3 months has already passed the initial £1m minimum threshold, and we will now start initiating investments into the exciting pipeline of post-seed/ pre Series A opportunities we have developed in the Data, Digital, Education and Health areas, with extensive due diligence currently being undertaken on the following companies:
Digital – an energy sector solution platform; a sports gaming industry app.
Education – an early schools video content creator; an HR workflow app for pre-schools.
Health – a hospital workflow app; a medical device to assist with innovative measurement of fluid levels in patients; a free from healthy food product with over 1000 sites of distribution
Almost all of the above rely or utilise a smart interaction with Data to provide their solutions. These are under consideration in addition to a number of the www.nivl.co.uk portfolio who are completing Series A or similar rounds shortly.
The Fund now opens for its 2nd tranche completion, towards its total £10m capacity.
For wealth managers, IFAs, or private investors who would like to know more about both the Fund and also Nexus Investments wider track record of growth on our £8m+ selected EIS client portfolio built since 2014, please do get in contact via email to [email protected] or on 0207 104 2008, so that we can arrange a meeting.
In this episode Conor Flynn speaks to Matthew O’Kane, Managing Director of Nexus Investments, about what a good educational investment looks like, balancing passion with business acumen and the warning signs investors look out for when considering an investment.
Matt is a Chartered Accountant, formerly of Deloitte and PwC, and Managing Director of Nexus Investments, a division he helped to start in 2013 for Harry Hyman. A tax specialist, he has sourced the vast majority of NIVL’s 20 existing portfolio company clients, sitting on the Main Board or Advisory Board of a number of the UK’s most promising businesses, and advising some of our most promising entrepreneurs.
Nexus Investments have just launched their EIS Scale Up Fund for investors wishing to participate in Nexus’s next hand-picked wave of companies scaling up in the Data, Digital, Education and Health sectors.
Could you tell us a little bit more about Nexus Investments?
The Nexus Group was founded by Harry Hyman in 1994 and is entrepreneur built and led. Since late 2013, our Investments division have been part of over £40m raised and invested in 20 Portfolio Companies that we have selected, Nexus Investments having arranged £7m of this over 50 rounds from a close-knit circle of HNW and sophisticated/experienced industry investors.
A representative of Nexus acts as either advisor or often board member/advisory board member to our promising companies. Strong paper performance since then means we have now recently launched our first Scale-Up EIS Fund, to enable a wider and deeper pool of investors to invest with us. The Fund’s investments will continue to focus on the Data, Digital, Education and Health sectors. Nexus are committed to finding and supporting only the most meaningful and transformational UK businesses of tomorrow in these 4 sectors, to bring capital and expertise to scale these into leading international brands.
How big is your portfolio? And how much do you typically invest?
The existing portfolio of 20 companies have a carrying value (at 31 May 2018) for our existing investors of over £10.5m based on subsequent funding round values. Our investors historically have contributed between £50k and £500k per cohort to any one investment round, and in some cases over £1m across multiple rounds. We might expect the fund to take a similar approach in terms of deal size.
The Fund will complete in tranches until it has raised £10m from investors, with a minimum investment of just £25k to join the Fund. It is open now for the first tranche from private investors at Scale Up Fund.
What are the top three things you look at when considering a new investment?
1. Mission-driven founder teams
2. Pro-active personalities seeking to make a positive impact, who are receptive to advice
3. Smart business plans with certain beneficial macro-tail winds, and a route to profitability and an exit
Are there any companies you’d like to highlight that you’ve worked with?
All would be worthy of mention, but to pick out just the very first two we worked with, and the latest two: Perfect World devised and brought to market the first “healthy” UK ice-cream back in 2014 (no dairy, no added sugar, lots of great taste, now vegan – very popular with diabetics etc.); boclips since 2014 have built the world’s largest video library for use in education materials (curated and searchable containing only rich and value-adding educational content such as TED Talks, Bloomberg, Getty Images, all linked to a country’s curriculum and trust-worthy in an era of fake news etc.); Everpress since 2016 is a platform that enables influencers, charities, musicians and artists (amongst many others) to market and monetise their “brand ” with their social media followers in an authentic way, selling apparel and other products without taking on stock risk; TRUEinvivosince 2016 builds on some of the most pioneering research in the field of Medical Physics to one day reduce the duration and quantity of radiotherapy treatments required by cancer sufferers. Those are just the first two and last two, with 16 more equally compelling examples in our existing portfolio in between.
Any companies that got away that you wish you’d backed?
One always wonders. We saw a very interesting Foreign Coin-exchange business right back in 2013 when I started here, which we liked but wanted larger capitalisation than we would focus on, which we later read went on to win a Virgin Voom marketing award of £250k from Richard Branson. Having said this, I don’t know how it has performed commercially or for its investors in the time since, only that it caught his eye as it had caught ours!
What are the big red flags for you when reviewing investment propositions?
Our experience is appointing a chairperson is a meaningful indication that a company understands the governance that will be required if to attract later capital so as to scale.
I wish I saw more…
Business plans with a clear(er) breakdown of uses of funds, especially when a 2nd or 3rd follow-on round. Founders often expect too much of existing shareholders and don’t realise each new round is a sales process with people based on this round’s investment proposition. I also wish I met more founders who understand the benefits of a daily or weekly dashboard within their business, that they review, that shows cash, p&l, balance sheet etc., from which to make informed financial decisions. Finance is not “admin”…!
I wish I saw fewer…
Financial terminology mis-quoted – founders often champion “break even” or “cash flow positive” as concepts they expect this next investment will magically bring, without necessarily understanding this needs to be a constant state rather than a temporary event in a single month!
Re-packaging – long-standing small consultancy or service businesses are increasingly expecting SAAS valuations just for showing e.g. 5 years business history and now building a platform for their existing and new clients to (potentially) use more going forward.
Buzzwords – tech businesses putting AI or Machine Learning in their description without clearly understanding how this will work/what it will cost to offer it/ the degree of technical specialisation it will involve.
What I wish I could tell every founder…
Be prepared that you will be in a parallel world to your peers “employed” at established/mature businesses, who will likely be paid more money with more certainty – and that period will last longer than you think. BUT remember:
a) they will not have equity that could outstrip all annual earnings on an exit, even if you dilute down to just 10% at that point;
b) only you will have the feeling of some degree of choice over how you spend your time and energies each week, and get to build something;
c) even if you have not achieved a multi £m exit in 5 or 10 years’ time, your journey should be much more satisfying to look back upon when you compare notes in 25 or 30 years’ time. And remember all of your investors, however large or small, want you to succeed.
What do you see as the next industry to be disrupted?
Identifying new and growing trends is key to producing returns. Once a trend reaches a tipping point it becomes attractive to many investors. The window of opportunity exists before a trend is obvious. There is still some considerable way to go, in my view, in integrating technology and healthy food and drink into the education system, both nationally and on a global basis.
How should a business seeking finance approach you?
We are fortunate to get a very strong deal flow through referrals from existing portfolio founders, existing co-investors, accountants, lawyers and advisers etc. who have worked with us before over the past years. The best introduction is a warm introduction through a trusted partner. Always try to get a warm introduction if possible.
The firm says its new Enterprise Investment Fund plays to private clients’ desire for more hands-on involvement in firms while offering a robust screening process.
In this era of crowdfunding, direct investing and other more “do-it-yourself” approaches to finding hot ideas, there is still a need to work with committed professionals who have skin in the game when it comes to making investments.
That is the argument of UK-based firm Nexus Investments, which is road-showing its EIS Scale-Up Fund, an Enterprise Investment Scheme concentrating on sourcing and backing new firms in the data privacy, health and education tech sectors. The fund is pitched at private investors, family offices and entrepreneurs. To get into the fund, investors must put in at least £25,000 ($31,932). The fund has a target total capital of £10 million. This is definitely not in the BlackRock, Vanguard or Fidelity league of investing – but it is backing businesses with the potential to one day appear on the radar of large-cap funds.
What Nexus Investments brings to the table is the promise that its team have screened and sorted through a large number of investment ideas and are willing to back them with their own money – a compelling proposition for investors, Matthew O’Kane, MD at Nexus Investments, told this publication. Chartered Accountant O’Kane, who was hired from Deloitte by Harry Hyman, owner of the Nexus Group, to head up this new division about five years ago, explains how this proposition is put into practice.
“Because we see so many deals that have come our way and we are personal investors ourselves, we can be a trusted source of perspective about sectors that we know well, valuations of early stage companies, and what makes a compelling and backable entrepreneur who can genuinely drive a brand or a business through the scaling up process, with our help” he said.
Besides O’Kane, there is a growing team of people working on the deals and liaising with investors. These include Douglas Lidgitt who joined from EY in 2017, who, along with O’Kane and Harry Hyman, sits on the investment advisory committee to the fund, which includes Alan Newman, the former finance director of the public opinion and data company YouGov, and the chairman of PwC London, Keith Mansfield.
Enterprise Investment Schemes, which carry a range of income tax and capital gains tax reliefs and are designed to steer money into young firms and start-ups by bridging the funding gap, and rewarding some risk-taking by investors, are the right kind of vehicle for the sectors Nexus wants to be in, O’Kane said.
Wealth managers face the risk that some DIY-inclined clients increasingly want to seize control over how they manage investments, via crowdfunding, or by directly backing friends or family.
As far as Nexus is concerned, sometimes those deals involve eye-watering sums of money but are done in a vacuum over what constitutes a realistic valuation or projection that the founders may have pitched, or lack an acceptable shareholder agreement or Articles of Association. Nexus Investments has carried out more than 50 rounds of EIS investment since 2014. The firm selects 20 companies out of more than 300. Nexus argues that by going via a kind of pre-vetted Alternative Investment EIS Fund, it provides a smarter approach for sophisticated investors and their wealth managers or IFAs.
“This is akin to curated services,” O’Kane continued. “These are busy times … we have got lots of firms pitching to us for funding. Our job is to select the best opportunities and provide a diversified portfolio. We have a good understanding of what is an acceptable level of price or risk for EIS private investors when investing in an entrepreneur-led business at different stages of its development, and can therefore identify good entry points for them. Investing in early stage companies requires diversfication, and we provide access to some of the most pioneering companies in the UK that are in some cases literally trying to change the world in the fields of, for example, data privacy, radiotherapy treatment, or digital English Language teaching in overseas schools”.
The areas that the EIS fund invests in, such as personal data and education technology, or “edtech”, are very much in the public eye, as concerns about data security and privacy have been fuelled by controversies such as Facebook’s alleged misuse of private information, and by how concerns about child literacy rates are putting more pressure on schools to come up with solutions, he said.
When it comes to assembling the EIS range, Nexus argues that one of its other differentiators is the calibre of people who sit on the boards of portfolio EIS companies. As well as the investment advisory committee assembled for the Scale-Up Fund, chairpersons who sit alongside O’Kane on existing Nexus-backed companies include Mark Wood (formerly Editor in Chief of Reuters, and now Advisory Board member of PwC) and Mike Rusbridge (formerly CEO of Reed Exhibitions PLC, and currently board member of the National Exhibition Centre (NEC)).
As for its latest Scale-Up fund, Nexus thinks it is the first UK EIS fund specifically focused on scale-up opportunities to launch since the UK government’s £2.5 billion British Patient Capital programme which was introduced last June. (The idea being that such “scale-up” funds are to help businesses expand significantly, hence the term.)
So how does the fund work and why the £10 million long-term capital target?
“We are raising the money in tranches, but putting an overall target cap on our new fund of £10 million feels the right level to refer to. We have shown over the past four years or so our ability to raise and introduce over £7 million of investment across over 50 EIS rounds, and 19 of our companies are still going strong, many growing very fast still indeed,” O’Kane said.
“The latest valuations of our portfolio suggest existing backers of those companies are sitting in a very positive position on paper, with more potentially yet to come – and that excludes any EIS tax benefits, such as the initial 30 per cent income tax relief. We believe that if we are given the opportunity to deploy up to £10 million of funds within our target timeframe of 12-24 months into businesses which we believe will perform well, we should be able to do this smartly and nimbly for our investors, without being in the position of some other EIS and particularly VCTs [venture capital trusts] who anecdotally one hears can sometimes struggle with finding suitable opportunities for the large piles of cash they are sitting on, and are often restricted by their own internal economics in terms of minimum deal sizes they will do” O’Kane said.
“Our position is supported by our historical performance and based on the deal flow we are currently sourcing. We believe 8-10+ investments are appropriate as any less would not provide sufficient diversification to reduce the risk of any one company not performing, while any more would see the amounts invested potentially fall into companies where neither sufficient fuel is provided nor value add created. We believe that investing between c.£100,000 to £1 million, if necessary on a phased basis or even as part of larger rounds, into each specific company, will provide it sufficient runaway to reach a point where it will be attractive to larger funds and institutions, ultimately enabling us to exit and obtain a return,” he continued.
“The fund will invest primarily in smaller, unquoted companies. It may also invest in companies eventually seeking a quotation on AIM. This is just one of the potential exit routes that may become available to the fund’s portfolio, as they scale with our input. Excluding tax reliefs, over a four-year period, our existing portfolio of 20 companies has (based on latest valuations as at 31 May 2018, derived from subsequent equity round prices) generated over 20 per cent IRR. Whilst unrealised as of yet, many portfolio companies are just getting started and are still within their three-year requirement EIS holding period. We have seen offers for two of our companies, and some are now valued by external investors at 5x or more compared to the first Nexus entry price. Our Key Information Document (“KID”) sets out the position the fund believes could be achieved for Fund Investors under a favourable scenario” O’Kane said.
“Nexus is a very active investor. As an early stage investor, we already sit on the boards of a number of our existing portfolio companies, and the fund intends to do the same. We provide tax, corporate finance and business strategy advice to our portfolio companies above and beyond what they may initially expect. We have been described by existing co-investors and board chair-persons as `over-indexing’ compared to many more established venture capital or private equity investment houses: putting in much more time and resources than what would be expected in relation to the size of our investments and stages of companies.”
“But we believe this is the right thing to do as an early stage investor. In fact, given the risks of being an early stage investor – and I make this point to anyone who has put their own money into an EIS or start-up or similar company, even for a “bit of fun” – you absolutely need to put in the extra leg work if you want to reap the benefits, or have someone on hand who can do that for you, like Nexus. Entrepreneurs and young brands meet all manner of obstacles in the years following the initial early glow of attracting backers with a shiny business plan or slide deck. Often investors are completely unaware of what is really going on. This is one area of investing where you cannot have your cake and eat it. If you want to reap the potentially much higher returns from being an early stage investor, you need to put in the work required to support and grow. We are not here to help with the `child-birth’ of a company, we are not start-up investors. Our role is to help companies grow and mature from the toddler stage through and into its teenage years, perhaps even into young adulthood. If our chosen companies succeed, then we and our investors should succeed. That is our motto.”