Houghton Street Ventures | June 2022 Newsletter
We’re back again with the latest edition of the Houghton Street Ventures newsletter. There has been lots going on and we have some exciting updates about the first close of the fund and the LSE entrepreneurship ecosystem.
What's happening at Houghton Street Ventures:
First close of the fund
We are rapidly approaching the first close of the fund. Despite current macroeconomic conditions, as a fledgling fund in choppy waters we’ve been highly encouraged by the positive uptake. Very shortly, we will start deploying initial cheques into the most exciting LSE-alumni companies that we have been building relationships with, co-investing with some top-tier international venture funds. The pipeline includes:
San Francisco-based no-code sales enablement platform transforming a $10bn+ market and revolutionising how sales professionals deliver demos to prospects with an exceptional team of second-time founders
San Francisco-based B2B SaaS project management tool for marketing teams, streamlining video production and tackling a $5bn+ market from a team of FAANG marketeers
Bangalore-based consumer fintech for the emerging middle class of India, a $10bn+ lending opportunity, leveraging data analytics to power industry-leading non-default rates from a team of Goldman Sachs credit experts
UK-based full-stack technology platform for the modern hospitality industry pursuing a global GMV of over $500bn from a team who have lived hospitality for decades
We’re hosting small sessions over the next month for people to meet us, learn more about the fund and opportunities of how to get involved. If you’d be interested in joining, you can select a slot here:
Houghton Street Talent Network
Community powers Houghton Street Ventures and is at the core of everything we do. The next piece of the puzzle in our platform approach is the Houghton Street Talent Network. In the last few weeks we have launched the barebones of this new offering. To create a functioning early stage technology ecosystem at the LSE, startups require both capital and access to the best talent. We are now leveraging the network of over 200,000 alumni, one of the strongest international talent pools, to supply this to alumni businesses and portfolio companies. Historically, LSE has been known as a feeder school for banking and consulting careers; we want to offer an alternative pathway through entrepreneurship.
We will be expanding the talent network over the next few months. If you are aware of an LSE-alumni company with active roles or an LSE alumn looking for a new opportunity, we would greatly appreciate it if you can share this opportunity.
What's happening within LSE alumni-founded companies?
BotsAndUs - founded by Oana Andreea Jinga - $13m Seed from Lakestar & Kindred Capital
Airbank - founded by Christopher Zemina - $20m Series A from Molten Ventures
Castor - founded by Tristan Mayer - $23m Series A from Blossom Capital
LynxCare - founded by Georges De Feu - $20m Series A from MITP AG & Btov Partners
Workmotion - founded by Felix Steffens - $40m Series B from Canaan Partners & Activant Capital
Listopro was acquired by Revelo, the US’ largest platform for sourcing, hiring, and managing remote tech talent
EV Connect was acquired by Schneider Electric, the premier EV charging solution provider had raised over $50m before the successful acquisition by Schneider
Talentry was acquired by Clever Connect, in a deal to create one of Europe’s largest cloud-based talent management solutions
SETL was acquired by Colendi, the UK enterprise blockchain company known for its work with major international banks will significantly bolster the embedded fintech firms services
In the News
Qloo founder, Alex Elias, featured on Bloomberg discussing how they are using AI to understand consumer sentiment patterns, and what’s hot in pop culture
Klasha were in Business Insider, for the work they’re undertaking with TechCabal, Africa’s answer to TechCrunch, on building an understanding of the e-commerce landscape across the continent
Qualtrics featured in Fortune for their recent study into working habits, it turns out a majority of employees don’t actually want a four-day work week
Companies we’re excited about
As a Seed fund, we often nurture relationships with founders from a very early stage to ensure access to deals when they come to market. A few recent companies to highlight are Fruits, the social commerce platform changing how we purchase from independent creators; Kuppa, a finance product to retrofit homes to be more sustainable; Podium, building web3 creator economy financing tools; Locomotive, building an ERP system, fit for a modern business; Ytems, the accounting platform serving self-employed and independent professionals.
What's happening at LSE?
Early June saw the latest edition of the LSE Festival, hundreds of incredible speakers swarmed campus hosting conversations on topics ranging from wealth inequality to animal sentience. We had the chance to hear from and meet Christine Lagarde of the European Central Bank, Larry Summers of the US Treasury, and many more. If you’re interested to watch any of the sessions you can see them all here.
The Generate Accelerator Programme (GAP) demo day is coming up on the 18th July, digitally from LSE Generate. Register here to hear from and meet the 10 latest companies in the programme from Simba Health, supporting the silver generation with telehealth solutions to longevity; Cogs AI, designing an edtech platform for the neurodiverse; and AnimaSelf, wellness for the web3 generation using evolving NFTs.
Hannah, in our latest blog, shared her thoughts on the concept of community, how venture capital funds can use community to build a competitive advantage and how we're leveraging the LSE community at Houghton Street Ventures.
To conclude this month's edition, the team will be travelling over the next couple of months, we'd love to catch-up if our paths cross:
San Francisco: 23 - 29th August
Berlin: 13 - 15th September
Adam, Veronika, Hannah & David
The Houghton Street Ventures Team