Steve Garnett and Sukhendu Pal, two UK technologists, have joined the Mayor of London’s early stage tech investment fund as mentors.
The two men each boast successful careers in technology. Garnett sold his business Fairsail to Sage last year, in a deal believed to be worth more than £100m, while Pal was formerly head of Citigroup’s emerging markets division, prior to which he co-founded Oracle Corporation’s financial services arm.
The London Co-Investment Fund (LCIF) has invested in 103 technology firms to date, all of them based in the UK capital. Through the appointment of Garnett and Pal, the fund will provide those businesses with access to guidance from entrepreneurs who have, in the fund's own words, “been there and done it”.
Garnett and Pal, and perhaps others in the future, will be running “business clinics” for firms within the fund’s portfolio. Six companies have been selected to take part in the first round of these clinics, beginning March 2018.
“We look back on our careers and we see clearly that London is a place of opportunity and rich resources, filled with talented and hardworking people,” said Pal, now CEO Sirius & Partners. “Everyone can make it, no matter their background. We want to help entrepreneurs in Funding London’s portfolio companies, who are just starting out to create companies that grow and add economic value to the capital and to this country.”
The LCIF holds a stake in digital banking app Curve. In late 2014 it pledged £5m in government money to be invested directly in tech firms, with the help of a number of partners, including equity crowdfunding platform Crowdcube. The fund has invested £15.7m to date.