We are looking for missions that bring us alive – those that are so motivating we’d have considered joining full-time. We aren’t going to be a detached financier – we’ll only invest when your mission matters to one of us personally and we are compelled to do everything in our power to further your mission.
We will each take on a tiny number of projects each year – 2-3 typically. For each company we partner with, we are able to spend up to a day a week if you need it. You can rely on us to be close enough to deeply understand what is happening with your business and proactively support you vs just turn up to board meetings. For each startup we back we draw up an SLA so we can hold ourselves accountable to being the best possible partner to you.
As a group we have worked with over 10% of the European start-ups valued at over $1b.
I co-founded Songkick in London when I was 25. Over my time I shifted from writing the first lines of code, to identifying our first scalable growth channels to negotiating global distribution deals with companies like YouTube and Spotify. I raised over $20m in venture capital and was lucky to be part of the second British team to be backed by Y Combinator. Songkick scaled to 12m monthly unique visitors but over time faced increasing challenges dealing with anticompetitive behavour from TicketMaster. Songkick was forced to sue TicketMaster for anticompetitive behaviour and the case was settled two weeks before trial for $130m. TicketMaster additionally agreed to pay a $10m criminal penalty to the US justice department to resolve 5 counts of computer intrusion and fraud offences against Songkick.
I am particularly motivated by new general purpose technologies that can transform a wide range of industries. Machine Learning, Quantum Computing and Material Science are examples of sectors that I have been drawn to as a result. I also am motivated to support founders tackling some of the greatest challenges of our era, from climate change to making the internet safer for children.
Testimonial from founders who have worked with Ian:
“I’ve started and sold 3 tech companies, raised investment from some of the luminaries of the tech industry, and met a ton of incredible people along the way. Out of all those smart people Ian stands out as one of the quickest, most insightful people I’ve met. He can break down any problem into it’s component parts and help you view the issue in a simpler, clearer way. They don’t come much better than Ian.”
– Kieran O’Neill, CEO of Thread
“Ian is one of a handful of people that influenced the trajectory of Chorus.ai. He immediately grokked its potential when still in its infancy and was as helpful when thinking through an early prototype to the challenges of scaling the business to navigating a 9-figure exit. Besides being brilliant, Ian was my go-to when I needed a thoughtful and understanding person to think through difficult situations. He still is. He’ll be my first call when I am thinking through my next venture.”
– Roy Raanani (co-founder & CEO Chorus AI)
“I find it very difficult to put into words how incredible I think Ian is and the role he’s had as our first Ruka investor. All I know is that if that’s anything to go by, we’re about to witness Plural seriously change the game. As an investor who’d been a founder himself, Ian has always been able to strike this phenomenal balance between logic and empathy. There’s nothing like problem solving in a safe space.”
– Tendai Moyo, co-founder & CEO Ruka Hair