Over the past few months, we've enjoyed running our first ever Investment Series in partnership with the Department of International Trade. As part of our Virtual Pitch Day we heard from a panel moderated by Outward VC offering advice and insights into fundraising at Seed to Series A level. Here are some highlights from the panellists.
How can we still seek investment in this climate?
Vinoth Jayakumar, Head of FinTech and Partner at Draper Esprit, says banks are examining their current offering amid Covid-19. “Banks and insurers are having an inward moment – ‘what does our technology stack require and where in the value chain can we mobilise?’
“At a time where you can’t meet the founder, making the prototype work and become demonstrable is important,” he recommends. “It’s not about the next year: it’s about the next three, five or 10 years. If founders haven’t thought about that, you’ll know straight away.”
What will we see from the investment landscape after the crisis?
“After a downturn there’s a huge opportunity for alternative lenders to come to the market,” Shachar Bialick, CEO of Curve, points out, citing the 2008 crash.
“There is going to be lots more strain in switching their accounts,” he adds. “There will be less spend on marketing to acquire customers. We believe that some of the challengers will fall down or be bought, so Q4 and into Q1 next year will be great for mergers and acquisitions.”
Are VCs still investing?
This was the million-dollar question, and the panel agreed that it’s one thing for investors to say they’re open for business and another thing to put their money where their mouth is.
However, as Reshma Sohoni, Co-Founder and Managing Partner at Seedcamp puts it, there is a lot of “dry powder”.
“There is a lot of concentrated capital that needs to move. Clearly, oil markets and others are not great to have your money in right now, so venture is extremely attractive because it looks at 10 or to years from now.
“There’s so much pressure on digitalisation and moving remote,” she adds. “Things like FinTech, HealthTech and future of work are exactly what VCs have been investing in for the last couple of years, and it’s moving itself.”