We are delighted today to announce Balderton’s strategic partnership with Premialab.
As always a huge reason for our partnership is the founders. Adrien and Pierre are incredibly deep in this sector, having worked at pioneers in systematic investing such as Societe Generale and Julius Baer. Both are super-smart and well-connected. They are first-time entrepreneurs coming from large companies but have demonstrated an ability to hire great people, iterate product rapidly and cut through sales cycles. They also complement each other well, with Adrien as the commercial lead and Pierre deeper in the product and operations. Both founders are French but…
For most of the time I have been a VC the prevailing wisdom has been that companies, whether B2B or B2C, should aim for a 12 month payback of CAC.
To be clear on definitions here:
CAC = fully-loaded Customer Acquisition Cost (marketing, sales, onboarding)
Monthly contribution margin CM = Monthly revenues — monthly variable costs (COGS, account management)
Retention in month i= Rᵢ
12 month value (‘LTV’) of a customer = CM₁ R₁ + CM₂ R₂ + …+ CM₁₂R₁₂
Aim for CAC payback < 12 month value.
CAC payback time = the number of months required for customer value…
First off, this isn’t our usual Series A investment. The vast majority of our investments from our venture fund Balderton are at Series A. However we can make the occasional investment a bit earlier or later than this (and we also have our later stage Liquidity Fund taking secondary stakes in Series C+ companies). For example our first investment in Revolut was in a £1.5M round.
We aren’t a prolific seed investor so on the rare occasions we do…
What I learned in fintech and insurtech in 2019. Opinionated and probably 50% wrong:
The average person is still struggling to make ends meet, ten years after the last recession. This has a few consequences:
Fifty billion pounds.
This is how much the UK workforce is lending to their employer by the 25th of each month, just before they get paid at month end*. And they are lending this money to their employer at zero interest.
Many of these employees are struggling to make ends meet towards payday and relying on expensive overdrafts or credit cards to do so. If they could only access the money they have already earned that month they would be able able to avoid these high interest rates and fees.
The principle of Wagestream is simple. …
I am delighted to announce Balderton’s investment into Cleo, alongside follow-on investors including Local Globe, EF and an impressive array of angels such as Errol Damelin and Taavet Hinrikus. This was a highly competitive fundraise and we are delighted that Barney chose us as his partner for Series A.
Cleo is your AI assistant for taking control of your finances. Linking to your bank accounts she feeds you insights in Messenger, helps you set and keep to a budget, and helps you save automatically.
So why did Balderton choose to invest in Cleo alongside our prior fintech success stories such…
I have been in VC at Balderton since 2009, and met thousands of companies and founders over that period. Many times I have met the CEO 1:1. On other occasions I have been confronted by as many as eight people: founders, co-founders, employees, advisors, angel investors — the full works. Reflecting on this in a brief moment of August calm, the success or otherwise of these meetings is correlated to the number of people in the room: the fewer the better.
Going forward I am going to insist on meeting no more than two people at a time, with a…
I’ve spent a lot of (too much) time at fintech and insurtech conferences over the last month. I feel like I have had the same conversation multiple times with other VCs around ‘balance sheet’ fintech businesses but haven’t been able to fully expand on my points. This post is my attempt to do that.
By “balance sheet” fintech, I am referring to tech companies which secure a bank license or insurance license, that are then required by regulators to hold a certain amount of capital on their balance sheet. In banking in Europe the primary regulation is Basel III, in…
Blogging on anything related to cryptocurrency is a daunting prospect, as there is already a huge amount of coverage, the learning curve is steep and the space ever-changing. So am looking forward to some frank feedback on this….
I joined the Blockstack event in Berlin Friday, with speakers including Nick Szabo, Albert Wenger and Edward Snowden, and demos/talks from a dozen or so tokens and dapps including Filecoin and Cryptokitties. We also hosted own ‘decentralized landscape’ event at Balderton yesterday with a wide-ranging discussion.
Reflecting on both of these, and everything I have read in the past, I still feel…
As published on Techcrunch today, I am delighted that Balderton are leading the $1.2M seed funding round for Dinghy. Dinghy provides the first flexible indemnity and equipment insurance for freelance professionals. Freelancers can dial up and down their coverage (e.g. between projects), with the security that they are fully covered at all times.
As with any investment we make the the main reason we invested into Dinghy was the team. Ben, Rob & Ed have a rare combination of extensive experience across insurance, tech startups and as freelancers. This includes some of the stand out successes in UK insurtech of…