February 2023 | Community Newsletter
Welcome back to the Houghton Street Ventures Community newsletter, our monthly update on what’s happening within the LSE startup and venture ecosystem. 2023 continues to be moving apace for the team, having just completed our third deal of the year. We’re also preparing for the big LSE Startup Careers Fair later this month (sign up here!).
Today, you’ll hear more from Adam on our journey going deeper into the world of artificial intelligence and how we’ve extended the team with a fifth member, our AI chatbot - StreetSmarts.
If you’re interested in learning more about Houghton Street Ventures as either a founder, investor, or with any other hat on, we’d love to hear from you. Or if you have ideas about future content or collaborations, just hit reply!
2023 so far…
StreetSmarts - our custom chatbot for entrepreneurs
Since the launch of OpenAI's ChatGPT only a matter of months ago, many of us have been entranced, exploring how this technology can be used to create a multitude of applications and having a lot of fun along the way.
At Houghton Street Ventures, we have been seeing where we can best implement this technology in our workflows - from helping us write content and assisting with market research - the potential of this technology is quickly becoming apparent even for a venture capital firm.
With the OpenAI API key in hand, and a repository of useful, inspiring, and interesting articles on building a company, we set out to create StreetSmarts, a WebApp chatbot providing guidance on everything from scaling a team to go-to-market strategy. Very much a v1, feel free to try it out, as we would love to hear if something like this provides advice which could be viewed as an extension of our team. We think about how we maximise our impact within our ecosystem a lot, and this could be one of those ways - providing support to more entrepreneurs with our limited resources.
Community News & Updates
Houghton Street Ventures
Preparations are underway for the LSE Startup Careers Fair on 27th March. We already have hundreds of attendees signed up and a fantastic lineup of LSE-alumni founded, VC-backed startups looking for new hires, including Zapp, Moove, and Climate Aligned. If you’re a startup interested in exhibiting (for free!) or you’re looking for your next role in one of LSE’s most exciting venture-backed startups, please email email@example.com or sign up here!
Calling all early-stage London-based founders! The LSE Generate Accelerator Programme (GAP) is back! If you're looking to accelerate your business, look no further. Tailored support through weekly sessions with EiRs who have built businesses to an exit, working with experts and mentors from our amazing network, £4K equity-free, and a Grand Demo Day pitch. What’s not to love! Apply here and find more info here.
LSE Generate is launching a growth marketing clinic - growth advisor, Ruben Portz, who has helped companies scale to millions of users at Forward Partners, is holding growth clinics for LSE-alumni startups. Book your free 60-minute slot here.
Cordless - founded by Luba Chudnovets - raised a $2.2m Seed round from Fly Ventures & Passion Capital
QBeast - founded by Clemens Jesche - raised a $2.7m Seed round from Elaia
Obligate - founded by Benedikt Schuppli - raised a $4m Seed round from Circle Ventures
Stuf - founded by Andrew Balogh - raised an $11m Series A from Altos Ventures
SESAMm - founded by Pierre Rinaldi - raised a $54m Series B from Elaia and The Carlyle Group
MNT Halan - founded by Mounir Nakhla - raised a $260m growth round from Chimera Investment - and became our 26th LSE Unicorn!
In the News
MNT-Halan featured in TechCrunch and Crunchbase News, as they became Egypt’s first Unicorn (and the LSE’s 26th) following their $400m equity and debt raise in February
Flexcavo, a Berlin-based construction-tech company founded by LSE alum, Benedict Aicher, was acquired by Danish IoT service provider Trackunit
Acuity Knowledge Partners, the first business of Oaknorth founder, Joel Perlman, was acquired by private equity fund Permira from Equistone Partners
Meet the team
The team will be in:
San Francisco - 22 - 28th May - Hannah will be meeting with founders and LPs
If our paths cross, we’d love to meet and catch up, let us know!
Veronika, Hannah, Adam & David
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