Doug Scott, loud mouth Geordie entrepreneur living in the Midlands.

Arrogance in the Tech world from Paul Graham

Arrogance in the Tech world from Paul Graham

Who said techies had become arrogant self centred people??

Seemingly Sam Altman of YCombinator was not allowed to be served at the bar at The Ritz in London because he was wearing trainers ( sneakers ). Picture from his twitter handle included:)

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Sam quotes:

Low point: turned down at the bar of the Ritz for a meeting because I’m wearing “sport shoes”

But then Paul Graham say this:

Shallow though this test may seem, it shows London’s not a startup hub yet. No hotel in SF could afford this rule.

Has Paul lost the plot of the real world??

paulgraham

Paul does not really have devil horns but it is funny:)

 

Doug

I want to Win for fun:):):) Please Vote for Me:) BoatyMcBoatface

I want to Win for fun :):):) Please Vote for Me:)BoatyMcBoatface

 

Just for fun i wanted to help Mike promote the Europas and thought it funny if i won at the same time :)

Take the survey http://theeuropas.polldaddy.com/s/theeuropas2016

Question 19 is the only one that matters:):) haha

Wouldn’t it just be so funny if someone who had never invested in anything till 3 years ago, did not go to the right school,  knew no one in the industry and was even openly critical about how the system is broken actually won an investor award:):)

Maybe this vote will not be a true count for the winner ………….or maybe BoatyMcBoatface:)

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Ignite allows people to invest- wow

Ignite allows people to invest- wow

Many people know I am a great fan of the guys and girls in Newcastle, well they have now expanded to London and are allowing everyone to invest:)

Ignite Fund Click Here

Some awesome companies have come from this place:):) Many I have invested in:)

They already have lots of the cash including some of mine……so get in quick:)

Awesome everyone

Doug

 

 

Keep your Company UK based and be bought by all the US Off Shore Money

Keep your Company UK based and be bought by all the US Off Shore Money

There is 2 Trillion dollars stuffed in Off Shore bank accounts:

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2014-06-16/offshore-cash-of-2-trillion-sparks-hunt-for-tax-friendly-deals

Make sure you keep your company in a tax jurisdiction where your company looks good to get hold of some of this money somehow:)

Candy Crush was sold to such a company:

http://www.droug.co.uk/canddi-crush-bought-by-off-shore-money/

Daniel of Fried Frank doea a great post explaining it here:

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/flip-should-i-put-us-company-over-my-uk-daniel-glazer

Cheers

 

Doug

Martyn Davies – First Day at Ignite School

Martyn Davies – First Day at Ignite School

first-day-school-2839872

So Martyn Davies left the kindergarden of Sendgrid to play with Big Paul at Ignite. Martyn was not quite good enough to get into big school at Newcastle but had to beg to be allowed into the London playground. As long as he is good Paul Smith will not steal all his sweets. If you see Martyn eating Paul’s sweets please warn him or he will suffer the same as Will from Chew has….Will knows. Will when he gets back from his wedding better buy Paul more sweets. Paul may look like a lolly pop:

Big-Head-13227

So be warned Martyn….be good to teacher

Doug is worried……

MArtyne is an  advisor to several fantastic startups:
– SoPost (http://www.sopost.com)
– Beatroot (http://www.beatroot.com)
– Chew (http://www.chew.tv)
– Leaf (http://www.leaf.fm)

 

Investing in Startups 101: Deciphering UK Tax Relief Schemes

Investing in Startups 101: Deciphering UK Tax Relief Schemes

Having spoken to a bunch of different folks keen on getting started with startup investing, we decided to create something to help get the conversation started around HMRC tax relief when making investments in startups.

In the next few weeks, we’ll break each scheme (SEIS, EIS and the lesser-known VCT) down in greater detail, but for now, this handy little cheat sheet we automagically created explains the difference between three different schemes.

If you’re a UK taxpayer, there’s probably something for you here somewhere. Take a look and tell us what stuff boggles your mind, and we’ll address it in future articles!

Tax Break Scheme Cheat Sheet for UK Angel Investors

Doug

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Investment Syndicate

The Big Takeover — Why big companies buy little ones

The Big Takeover — Why big companies buy little ones

Quite often tech giants such as google will buy companies, even startups who have shown potential. We are only 6 months into 2015 and google so far has acquired seven companies in 2015! Here are a few reasons the big guys might want to buy you out ;)

Talent

One major reason is for the acquisition of the talent that smaller companies might have. This tactic also know as acqui-hires can be cheaper and more convenient for companies to acquire a full team rather than build one from scratch.

 

Our investment syndicate on AngelList cites this as a major factor when investing in startups, talent is a rare commodity and its the people that make the product great! Have a look around here.

Example: Little Eye Labs

Little eye labs, an Indian startup that has developed a tool to analyse the performance of Android apps has come under the umbrella of Facebook in 2014. A statement on the company’s site indicated that “With this acquisition, Little Eye Labs will join forces with Facebook to take its mobile development to the next level! This is Facebook’s first acquisition of an Indian company, and we are happy to become part of such an incredible team,” the whole team got packed up and shipped to Facebook’s headquarters in America.

Expand their product line

A company might want to add an additional feature or product line to their current offer. If your company offers the solution they are looking for, it might be cheaper to acquire a whole company rather than start from scratch and implement it on there time.

Technology

Some smaller firms manage to develop some incredible technology that other companies might consider worth having. Buying smaller companies with technology that can enhance their value proposition or differentiate them from their competitors has become an ongoing hunt from bigger companies.

Example: Face.com

Facebook aquired Israeli startup Face.com that provided a facial recognititon technology. The technology allowed facebook user to tag their friends and essentially share social events through photos with each other. The software would then suggest friends that might be in future uploaded pictures.

New Marketplace

Some companies will buy others in order to acquire their route to market and increase their reach further.

Eliminate Competitors

One last major reason for companies to acquire another, is to eliminate competitors and increase their market share through the acquisition of competitors.

Doug

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Investment Syndicate

Investing in Startups 101: This is why your investment moolah will go to an early-stage startup.

startup investing

The quadrant of startup investment. Yes, we made this up ourselves.

We humbly posit to you that if you’re an individual looking to start diversifying your current investment porftolio by investing in startups, then the only ones worth your time at this stage in the ecosystem will be early-stage (pre-seed or seed) startups.

Besides the fact that investing earlier means better returns (ceteris paribus),you typically wouldn’t be involved past the growth stage unless:

  • you know the founders somehow; or
  • you’re a prestigious VC; or
  • you’re following your pro-rata rights (and even then, the buck eventually stops somewhere)

And if you were someone like that, you wouldn’t be reading this article anyway!

How hungry are you, really?

Here’s an explanation of the framework for how we’re thinking about it.

startup investing

Same investment quadrants as above! Add a comment if you think we can improve this simple framework.

On one end, day 0 for startups, on the other, the day the startup exits and cashes out. High risk to low risk. Remember, when investing in startups, chances are you will lose money. OR, you might just make it big. That’s why startup investors advise you to diversify, diversify, diversify. Even then, capital is at risk, as with all financial investments.

Having said all that, here’s where different folks invest. Each type of investor has a different risk appetite, and general expectation of return on investment. Investment decisions are also made on the basis of other factors, including but not limited to amount of investable capital and access to deal flow and other resources (time, skills relevant to the startup). We haven’t even gotten started on the actual deals, the startups themselves (although we will, next week)!

TL;DR, how you want to play determines how (and if) you spray and pray.

We’ve filled up our shiny, probably-oversimplified-for-the-purposes-of-discussion, new quadrant thingy with the folks we think will typically play in each.

Before you scroll further down, how hungry are you feeling right now?

startup investing 2

But, but, there’s a new startup popping up every milisecond!

By virtue of the startups being early-stage, there are quite a lot of them. And not everybody has the resources to dedicate to the initial due diligence required. And unless you’re already in the startup ecosystem, or have access to the grapevine, you won’t be able to shop retail as an individual, that is to say, have access to startup teams and ideas worth investing in in the first place.

Finding startups is easy, finding ones worth your time + money => harder than you might think.

So here’s where we think you can, and should play.

startup investment 3

With us. :D

78 words on why.

Investing alongside an experienced angel derisks the process for you (mandatory warning: still doesn’t mean you should go in with your eyes closed!). An experienced angel who decides to lead an investment generally does a lot of the groundwork for a deal, and before platforms like AngelList, which we use to syndicate our own deals; you would probably never be able to get in on the action unless you knew the angel or startup founder in question personally.

Bonus: If you do happen to be a UK-taxpaying investor, then HMRC tax relief schemes like SEIS and EIS make the deal even sweeter for you (play with startups! pay less tax!).

If you skimmed this article…

… early-stage is the way to go for the returns, but only if you personally have a way of handling deal flow and due diligence, or if you co-invest with an experienced startup investor who will take on the brunt of that work, mitigating your own risk and allowing you access to startup teams you might not have been able to invest in otherwise. :)

Doug

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Investment Syndicate

Barclays Fintech Techstars

Types/sectors – Banking, Bitcoin, Finance, Insurance, Mobile, cyber security, big data, analytics, machine learning
Stages of investing – Seed and Early Stage
History – Founded in 2006, its philosophy focuses on deep mentorship and surrounding a small number of companies
Fund value – $2.5 billion
Founders and partners – David Cohen, Matt Harris
Notable investments, and value – Safello, PQ Solutions, basestone – $118k Seed
Headquarters – London, United Kingdom

Entrepreneur First

Types/sectors – Enterprise Software
Stages of investing – Accelerator that does Seed Investments
History – founded in 2011
Fund value – $100million
Founders and partners – Alice Bentinck, Matt Clifford
Notable investments, and value – Prizeo $2.5M Seed, Adbrain $1.5M Seed, Blaze $500k Seed
Headquarters – London, United Kingdom

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