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Fast Start for Venture Founders




By Ryan Weeks on 11th March 2015


Venture Founders is chugging along nicely – with a pair of big announcements hitting the wires this week.

 

Firstly, the platform has on-boarded a high profile Senior Advisor in the form of Montagu Private Equity Director and former Dyson CEO Martin McCourt. Mr. McCourt's résumé includes 35 years working in manufacturing, design and marketing for major brand names such as Mars, Duracell, Toshiba and Pelikan. Most recently McCourt served for 15 years as Global CEO of the Dyson group of companies. He has held and continues to hold a number of other notable positions, and was awarded Orange Business Leader of the Year in 2010.

 

Securing the services of Mr. McCourt is quite the coup for the nascent Venture Founders. Platform Co-Founders James Codling and Paul Moravek were understandably excited:

 

“We work with ambitious and entrepreneurial companies that have strong business acumen and growth potential. Martin has an incredibly impressive background working with companies of all sizes to help them reach their full potential, as he has demonstrated time and time again.

 

“Having Martin on the Senior Advisory team strengthens our advisory board even further and we are looking forward to the wide range of experience he will bring to the platform to help entrepreneurs make their own businesses flourish.”

 

In a further testament to the platform’s rapid progress, Venture Founders has also just launched an exciting new fundraise for the technology provider Rockabox. The marketing software specialist is looking to raise up to £4m in an EIS eligible round, at a pre-money valuation of £12m. Venture Founders will facilitate a £500k slice of that round, which if successfully filled will bring the total money committed thus far to £2.8m.

 

But it’s not only the size of the fundraise that makes this campaign noteworthy. Rockabox has the look of an intriguing investment opportunity – a notion that has already been subscribed to by prominent venture capital firms Notion Capital and Frog Capital. Both companies are existing shareholders in Rockabox, having invested a collective sum of £6.75m in the company. Both VC firms boast diverse portfolios of investments in innovative companies operating in high-growth sectors. Notion, for example, is a shareholder in risk management technology provider DueDil.

 

We noted in a recent interview with Venture Founders’ James Codling and Paul Moravek that the platform appears to have cherry-picked and incorporated best practice elements from a variety of equity crowdfunding incumbents. The Rockabox campaign is not dissimilar to the Angel-led approach of SyndicateRoom. Stamps of approval from leading VCs Frog and Notion Capital should serve to ramp up interest amongst private investors.

 

The former Dyson CEO Martin McCourt offered his own take on the value-added propisition that Venture Founders provides:

 

“The crowdfunding market has been growing significantly and VentureFounders’ approach is very refreshing. The key to making a platform such as VentureFounders succeed is the investment opportunities that it presents. It is crucial to have the right team to select only the most impressive entrepreneurial companies to be funded and the team that Paul and James have put together speaks volumes as well as the successful fundraises already completed on the platform.”

 

“The support that VentureFounders dedicates to the entrepreneurs it has raised money for is a new piece of the successful crowdfunding puzzle and I am pleased to be able to lend my experience to the impressive businesses they work with.”

 

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