Finance Awards 2021

15 | Finance Awards 2021 Mountside Ventures’ mission is to optimise the fundraising process between European start-ups and investors. It partners with the most ambitious entrepreneurs raising their next round of funding, in order to minimise the disruption to their business, acting as an extension of their team for the duration of the raise. This is done by helping them get investor-ready, introducing them to relevant investors and supporting them in closing their round with terms that are right for them. Mountside Ventures is dedicated to making the fundraising process simpler, more efficient and ultimately, saving time for all parties involved. One of its core goals is to support the European ecosystem on its journey towards catching, and ultimately overtaking, the US in years to come. The organisation works with early-stage companies looking to raise Seed, Series A, and Series B investment from institutional investors. Typically, the companies it partners with are post- product and post-revenue, across a wide range of sectors – from B2B software to marketplaces and consumer brands. It looks for fast-growth businesses with top tier founding teams and big vision ideas, relevant for venture investors (VCs, CVCs, venture debt providers and family offices). What makes Mountside Ventures unique is it operates as a start-up for start-ups. Having previously launched PwC’s early-stage propositions, which involved supporting an ecosystem of corporates, investors and start-ups, the company realised it could be more agile and better service the start-up ecosystem outside of a large organisation, being a leaner and streamlined team which focuses on this specific problem – early-stage fundraising. First of all, Mountside Ventures is not a broker, and it is not a placement agent. Many founders have had bad experiences with individuals or organisations who charge a fee for just making an email instruction to a potential investor. As well as unregulated brokers in the market who risk criminal liability, the firm doesn’t believe it’s the right way to work with start-ups. For entrepreneurs, the value Mountside Ventures provides is split into four areas, and they’re all complementary. First, it gives them a clear understanding of the fundraising process, what’s involved, who the key players are and how to succeed. Second, it critiques and challenges them on their documents, ensuring they are fit-for- purpose and works with them on articulating their value and investor propositions. Third, it introduces them to relevant investors across Europe who have the cash to deploy and where it believes there is a good fit. Finally, it empowers them to close their rounds on terms that are right for them, walk them through the implications of what they’re signing up to, and leverage its knowledge of the market standard. Instead of charging a retainer or upfront fee, the company defers the payment for its services until the round is closed. If it only worked with companies who were able to pay for support now, it’d lose out on working with some of the best entrepreneurs. Although the introduction is one piece of the puzzle, the feedback it has received indicates that it is certainly not where the most value is gained. Mountside Ventures is also unique because of its track record – having worked with over 400 tech companies either in a fundraising capacity or as part of the corporate accelerator it co-founded at PwC; its vast investor network – holding deep relationships with 550+ venture capital firms across Europe; and its use of technology – connecting a wide range of software in order to increase efficiencies, for example, it has mapped over 3,000 VCs and tracks all new funds raised. As successful as Mountside Ventures is, it has still had its share of challenges, more recently in the form of the COVID-19 pandemic. The key challenge has been getting in front of investors. Virtual is never going to replace face-to-face interactions and pitch events, despite the fact that 100% remote deals have become popular through this period. Most founders (and investors alike) are unable to build the same relationships in conference calls as they can in person, as there is a lack of informality, flow and spontaneity. This has made Mountside Ventures even more important to its clients because entrepreneurs can leverage the trust and relationships the team already has with investors. Looking towards the future, Mountside Ventures will continue to advise its clients through their fundraising rounds. It has been recruiting the next batch of companies for the new year and tends to work with 10-15 companies at any one time. It has a couple of spaces open, so if you’re a fast-growth business looking to raise venture funding, get in touch! Company: Mountside Ventures Contact: Jonathan Hollis Email: Website: Oct21324 Best Investors & Start-Up Fundraising Process - London