milestones or millstones?

When we work within our businesses on growth capital strategy we don’t advocate the popular funding principles of ‘bootstrapping’ (UK) or at the opposite end ‘get as much as you can’ (USA). Instead we advocate a milestone based strategy where the company targets a capital raise that gives it sufficient leeway to achieve a substantial, […]

cart before horse? conditional capital?

When you start a fundraise process there is only one guarantee. Not that you will either successfully, or unsuccessfully, fundraise. But that you will be faced with a multitude of, often polarised, opinions. This can be super helpful, insightful and value-add but also, more importantly, occassionally confusing and disruptive. I would never give advice in […]

is it realistic…

I am often asked questions prefaced by the phrase ‘is it realistic’, generally followed by ‘to raise £x (thousands/millions) of capital to achieve xyz’. To the surprise of many the answer is generally yes, albeit a caveated yes. The answer is always yes because I would confidently assert that there is sufficient availability of capital […]

predicting the pinch

You don’t need to be an accountant to be an entrepreneur, nor do you need to be an untaught but genius financial wizard. But I do believe you do need to be able to forecast your cash and you need to do it yourself. Why? Basically because without cash your life as an entrepreneur is […]

it’s who you are more than your money that matters

The longer I spend with young companies the more it reinforces my view that angel investing/venture capital/private equity (etc… etc…) should be much less about ‘financial products’ and much more about people based service industry with a strong financial overlay. When I originally joined the private equity industry (now left) my employer at the time […]

tactical or strategic capital?

In the marketing world a tactical campaign is one that is constructed to seize on an immediate and valuable opportunity (often offer or promotion based) to boost the P&L. Generally from a responsive budget and with short-term defined goals. A strategic campaign is one that is less focussed on short-term gain and more structured in […]

pre-money and post-money

A conversation yesterday prompted me to republish this post from March 2011: A very personal topic that’s unavoidable in every equity investment conversation is that when equity risk investment comes in, a percentage of the company must change hands (otherwise it’s not an equity investment). The investor needs the equity to drive their returns (and through […]

mind the gap

I’ve immersed myself in the world of young/start-up media and technology businesses for over two years now (quite literally as the 2nd birthday of my small company Preparation Capital has just passed in a flash), this is my 50th Blog post and I am reflective on what I have learned. The short answer is a lot, and I’m […]

growth vs paying shareholders – the disconnect

Bit of a dry one this, my apologies. But super important. Basically the need to look at the entirety of the investment proposition and to consider the medium term impact of investment terms rather than just looking at the pure ‘what % am I giving away’. I’m a little bit old-school when it comes to […]

how much, how often and why

There are two reasonably well rehearsed points of view that I find somewhat frustrating when it comes to advice on raising capital, firstly the ‘get as much as you can’ ethos and secondly the ‘take as little as you can’ ethos. The get as much as you can ethos is flawed in so far as […]