Founders and owners of leading Tech Track 100 companies gathered to hear from ReBOUND’s co-founder on the lessons learned from raising growth capital, and discuss their own experiences at our pre-dinner roundtable discussion, co-hosted by BGF
Simon Calver, Head of Investments, Ventures at BGF, opened our discussion focused on raising growth capital to finance fast-growing tech firms, which was co-hosted by Fast Track’s founder & CEO Hamish Stevenson. The 25 guests were drawn from a cross section of current and alumni Tech Track 100 companies – including Croud, goHenry and Paymentsense.
Simon explained how BGF is now investing between £400m and £500m a year into UK and Irish companies, through 50 new deals and also follow on rounds, which makes BGF the largest growth capital investor globally. “We go from early stage, to growth and even quoted company stage, so as you grow, we can grow with you and we don’t need to switch funds or get other investors in”, he said.
BGF has backed many Tech Track 100 companies, including Gousto, Pharmacy2U, Milk Visual Effects and UKCloud, and Simon spoke to our camera about some of the common questions that entrepreneurs ask when first considering whether to raise growth capital for the first time.
Graham Best, co-founder and chief executive of ReBOUND, shares his lessons learned
Simon introduced Graham Best, co-founder and chief executive of ReBOUND, the ecommerce returns technology platform which BGF backed in 2018, and which featured on Tech Track 100 this year, having grown sales from £3m in 2016 to £17m in 2018.
Graham described how he had bootstrapped the initial growth of the company, working closely with its retail partners such as ASOS, before deciding to raise external capital to provide the funding to hire additional senior staff, invest further in its IT platform and to sell down some of his holding to diversify his personal finances.
He initially approached traditional venture capital firms, spending nine months assessing interested potential partners and shortlisting two. However, he decided not to go ahead as the fit was not right. He then turned to BGF. “What I liked about BGF was that they have a fairly light touch, they take a long-term view and they want to go on a journey with you,” he said.
Louise Hill, co-founder and chief operating office, of goHenry, the children’s prepaid card service, spoke to our camera about the value of attending the roundtable. Her company featured on Tech Track 100 for the second time in 2019 with sales of £8.3m.
She said: “It was great to hear different people’s experiences of funding to date, whether they have had private equity investment or not, and what their thoughts were on the next stages of their development.”
More information on Tech Track 100
For more information about the league table and events programme, see: https://www.fasttrack.co.uk/league-tables/tech-track-100/
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For opportunities to meet and build relationships with the founders and directors of these fast-growing tech companies, see sponsorship opportunities for Tech Track 100