#SGVirtual: Sowing the Seed: What Investors Look for When Making Seed Investments - Chris Smith Playfair Capital

Thames Valley
Thu, Apr 30, 2020, 3:00 PM (BST)

About this event

What do investors look for when making seed investments? Sharing his insights will be Chris Smith, Managing Partner at Playfair Capital, one of the UK's leading seed stage investors. They've been helping ambitious and exceptional entrepreneurs build brilliant technology businesses since 2013. They have backed the founders of more than 50 companies including CryptoFacilities, Mapillary, Ravelin, Stripe, Thought Machine and Trouva.

Chris focuses his investing activities on seed (and pre-seed) deals in the UK and Israel. Chris is particularly interested in autonomous transportation, business and industrial automation (especially through AI, ML and computer vision), HealthTech (except diagnostics and therapeutics) and B2B SaaS. He loves finding companies operating in unloved/overlooked sectors that are ripe for disruption.

Prior to joining Playfair, Chris held senior roles at plan.com including Sales Director, Head of Tech/BI and Head of Product Development. He was the 8th member of the team and over a 4 year period built an award winning sales team, introduced new products (organically and through acquisition) and lead the roll out of version 4 of the platform. Revenues grew to £50m in 2018 and the company ranked #1 in The Sunday Times Tech Track 100.

In addition to his roles at plan.com, Chris worked on the re-launch/re-branding of Vannin Capital (another Bramden Investments' portfolio company which was acquired by Fortress Investment Group LLC in September 2019).

Chris has executed over a dozen angel investments across the UK and US in the past 10 years with three notable exits to date - Nearbuy Systems (acquired by RetailNext), MoPowered (LON:MPM) and Bidstack (LON:BIDS). He is passionate about investing in tech companies and supporting founders using his extensive operational and legal experience.

In his previous life, Chris spent nearly a decade in the City as a transactional lawyer in the private equity team at Weil and the corporate team at Olswang. He has worked with some of the world’s leading private equity and venture capital funds on predominately international acquisitions, disposals and restructurings. At Weil, he spent time on secondment to the Silicon Valley office’s patent litigation team, UK-based food manufacturer Premier Foods and the Asset Protection Agency.

He also setup a telecoms business offering discounted international calling from 14 countries in 2001 which he partially exited via an MBO in 2005.

We'll also talk about the importance of mentorship as part of our Global themed Mentorship Month Presented by AWS.

Exclusive application for 1:1 Mentorship with an AWS expert

As a Startup Grind community member, you are invited to apply for our exclusive AWS + Startup Grind Mentorship Program as part of Mentorship Month.

Selected applicants will have the opportunity to participate in a one-on-one mentor session to get guidance on how to grow and develop your business and allow you to get first-hand advice from experts in your field. We offer 5 distinct mentoring tracks that you can choose from, including Fundraising, Product, Marketing, Sales, or Strategy & Ops, and you will get paired with an AWS expert in the field of your choice. All sessions are held remotely, and the program is completely free for all participants.

Apply today



Thursday, Apr 30
3:00 PM - 4:00 PM (BST)

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