The Alternative Angle
By AA Advisors
In light of fast-evolving and uncertain economic times, at AA Advisors we have been considering how to stay connected with our worldwide network of GPs and LPs, many of whom are keen for information, but are isolating due to Covid-19. In response, we are creating a podcast series profiling GPs and providing them with a platform to share their unique insights into the current macroeconomic climate and the opportunities that the alternatives space can offer.
David Gardner OBE, London Venture Partners
David Gardner, OBE, is a co-founder and General Partner of London Venture Partners. He has over 30 years experience in the gaming sector, including as Former CEO & board director, Atari and EVP & COO, Electronic Arts Worldwide Studios. David spent 25 years at EA including building EA Europe from 0 to $1bn in annual revenue, and has spent his career working across Silicon Valley and Europe. In 2007, David was awarded the Order of the British Empire for his services to industry, and in 2017 he was appointed BAFTA's Vice President for Games. LVP is a venture capital seed fund leveraging extensive operating expertise to invest in the games ecosystem. Portfolio successes and exits include: Playfish (acq. By EA), Supercell (acq. Softbank), Unity (acq. Silver Lake) and Natural Motion (acq. Zynga).
August 05, 2020
Dabney Tonelli, Helios Investment Partners
Ms Tonelli has 30 years of relevant professional experience and is responsible for leading the firm’s efforts to develop and maintain its relationships with existing and prospective investors. She joined Helios in May 2012 from Chayton Capital LLP, an emerging markets private equity investment advisor, where she was a Managing Partner and Chief Operating Officer. She was jointly responsible for Chayton’s Africa business, executing that firm’s strategy on the continent, with a focus on operations, transactions and key investor relationships. Prior to Chayton, Ms Tonelli was at Goldman Sachs for 12 years. She held a variety of management roles in Global Investment Research in London and was previously in the Investment Management Division in New York, where her responsibilities included product development and management, as well as marketing and client coverage. She began her financial services career at American Express. Ms Tonelli received a BA, cum laude, from Georgetown University and speaks Italian.
July 23, 2020
Amy Nauiokas, Anthemis Group
Amy Nauiokas is Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Anthemis, the leading digital financial services investment firm, and Founder and CEO of Archer Gray, a media production and content company. She is a visionary executive, investor, producer and a recognized leader in innovation, strategy, and management across a variety of markets and industries. As a venture capitalist, Amy identifies and invests in early stage technology companies focused on the disruption of media, financial services and marketplaces. She has built a strong investment portfolio of best-in-class, high growth companies. Current investments include Flo Technologies, Betterment, Trov, Happy Money and Currencycloud. Her exits include Zoopla, the UK’s leading property research website; Fidor Bank, acquired by BPCE in 2016; Simple, acquired by BBVA in 2014; and The Climate Corporation, acquired by Monsanto in 2013.
June 03, 2020
Mark Beeston, Illuminate Financial Management
Mark Beeston founded Illuminate, a fintech VC firm, after a 25+ year career in capital markets where he had been both the consumer of capital markets technologies as well as the entrepreneur, operator, and funder of capital markets businesses. Prior to founding Illuminate, Mark was the CEO for the Post Trade Risk and Information business at ICAP (now Nex) where he oversaw the creation of ICAP’s own investment subsidiary. Prior to ICAP Mark launched T-Zero (now ICELink) during his time at Creditex before the company was acquired by ICE in 2008. He started his career with 13 years at Deutsche Bank in derivatives trading and management, including periods as COO for both the Global Rates and Global Credit businesses. Mark has an undergraduate degree from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). Mark was listed on the Institutional Investor Fintech Finance 35 and top 40 Lists, Financial News Fintech 40 Power List, Institutional Investor Trade Technology Top 30 and Top 40 Lists, and Derivatives Intelligence/Derivatives Week Rising Stars.
May 12, 2020
Alexander Bente, Jeremy Pressman and Michael Redd - ADvantage Sports Fund
In this episode, Alexandra Daly is joined by Alex Bente, Jeremy Pressman and Michael Redd, the team behind the exciting ADvantage Sports Fund, a joint venture between leAD Sports and OurCrowd. They provide unique insights into the fast growing sports tech market, which is expected to triple in the next 5 years, and where they see the greatest opportunities to invest, including e-sports, at home fitness, next-gen fan engagement/experience and tracking & analytics. Alexander Bente is Co-founder of the ADvantage Sports Fund. Prior to this he co-founded the leAD sports accelerator in 2016. He is the great-grandson of Adi Dassler, the founder of Adidas, which has become one of the most valuable and highly regarded sports brands in the world. Continuing the family tradition, Alex is passionate about sports entrepreneurship and the opportunities to invest in category changing companies through the ADvatnage fund. Through the success of the fund, Alex aims not only to revitalize his great grandfather’s legacy, but to establish a lasting legacy of his own. Alex holds a Master’s degree in Accounting and Finance from the University of St. Gallen, one of the leading business schools in Europe, and gained venture experience during his graduate studies and thereafter while co-founding multiple companies to preserve his great grandfather’s legacy (including a Multi Family Office, Multi Asset Fund, Athlete Management and Advisory Concept, Hollywood movie concept etc). Jeremy Pressman is Partner at the ADvantage Sports Fund, and also happens to be Israel’s only active venture capitalist and professional basketball player, a unique combination for leading a sports tech investment fund. With over five years in venture, Jeremy has vast experience sourcing and conducting due diligence on technology deals with a specific focus on sports - including Replay Technologies (acquired by Intel ~$180m). After a successful collegiate career at Yeshiva University, Jeremy chose to pursue his basketball career in Israel. Jeremy is a veteran of Israel’s Artzit basketball league having played six seasons on a number of teams in the Jerusalem and Tel Aviv areas. Jeremy has connections with professional athletes and teams in a number of international leagues, including NBA, NFL, Euroleague, MLS, CBA, and many more. Michael Redd is Venture Partner at the ADvantage, and a former professional basketball player and Olympic gold medallist. Michael has been building, developing and investing in tech-focused startups since he retired from the NBA in 2013. After twelve seasons as a professional basketball player, both in the NBA and the US Olympic team in 2008, Michael has continued a strong drive toward excellence in his focus on ventures off the court. Michael is also involved in SnapChat’s Yellow incubator as a mentor and investor, and developing his own venture relationships with his firm 22 Ventures. leAD is a global sports entrepreneurship and investment platform inspired by Adi Dassler - one of the most successful sports entrepreneurs in history and the founding father of the modern sports industry. Initiated by the grandchildren of Adi Dassler and a unique group of shareholders, leAD has assembled a world class network of industry experts, mentors and executives from the sports tech ecosystem. Our Crowd is Israel’s most active VC with over $1bn of committed funds worldwide. Their global network consists of 30k members across 183 countries. Since 2013, they have successfully made 34 exits – including freeD Technologies (acq. Intel), Invertex (acq. Nike), Jump (acq. Uber).
April 30, 2020
Wissam Mansour and Thomas Felix Baden, Neventa Capital
Neventa Capital's Wissam Mansour and Thomas Felix Baden join Alexandra Daly, CEO of AA Advisors, to discuss growth equity investing and the digital technology space amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Guillem Segarra, CEO at HappyFresh, one of Neventa's portfolio companies, joins the conversation towards the end to provide some great insights into their operations amid COVID-19. Prior to setting up Neventa, Wissam Mansour co-founded MIG Bank in 2005, one of Switzerland's leading online banks, which he exited to Swissquote in 2013, after reaching 85bn CHF in monthly trading volumes and 65,000 daily transactions with 200 employees across Lausanne, Zurich, London and Hong Kong. Thomas has more than 20 years of global experience in Growth Capital, Private Equity and M&A. Before joining Neventa Capital, he was Acting CEO of United Capital Management, an emerging markets Investment and Fund Management firm, and an Executive Director of Sailing Capital in Hong Kong, the first multi-billion Dollar Chinese Private Equity Fund with an overseas investment remit. Thomas was also head of the Direct Investment department of an International Family Office based in Geneva and Hong Kong, as well as the Private Equity department of a Middle Eastern based investment firm. Drawing on their combined experience as GPs, LPs and operators, Wissam and Thomas discuss the challenges and opportunities their portfolio companies face, as well as what they are seeing of interest across the digital technology space.
April 27, 2020
Anne Glover, Amadeus Capital Partners
Anne Glover, CEO and Co-founder of Amadeus Capital Partners, joins Alexandra Daly to share insights into early stage tech amid the ongoing coronavirus situation, drawing on her 30 year career in venture capital and experience of previous macroeconomic downturns. Anne co-founded Amadeus Capital Partners in 1997 with Hermann Hauser. Building on her scientific training and operating experience, Anne has been an active venture capitalist for almost thirty years. Early in her career Anne lived in the US, working in manufacturing with Cummins Engine Company and in strategy consulting with Bain & Co, before returning to the UK to join Apax Partners in 1989 to invest in early stage companies. She became Chief Operating Officer of one of her investee companies, Virtuality Group, after it listed on the London Stock Exchange in 1993, and then returned to investing as a business angel before founding Amadeus in 1997. A former Chairman of the British Private Equity and Venture Capital Association (2004/05) and Invest Europe (formerly EVCA) (2014/15), Anne is a member of the of the London Business School’s Private Equity Institute Advisory Board. In 2018, Anne was appointed as a Non-Executive Director on the Court of the Bank of England. She joined the investment committee of the Yale Endowment in 2019. Anne holds an MA in Metallurgy & Materials Science from Clare College, Cambridge, and a Masters in Public and Private Management from Yale School of Management. She was awarded a CBE in 2006 for services to business and is an honorary fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering. Her past successes at Amadeus include Optos (OPTS:LN) and TCTI.
April 21, 2020
Jim Jones and Steve Taubman, HighGear Ventures
Jim Jones and Steve Taubman join Alexandra Daly to discuss the secondary venture space amid the COVID-19 pandemic, drawing on their extensive experience to share unique insights into Silicon Valley during previous macroeconomic downturns. Jim’s experience has spanned all phases of venture capital, from seed and early stage investments to later stage and secondaries in venture-backed companies. Jim’s portfolio management includes more than $150 million of primary and secondary capital commitments. Steve Taubman has been an active private equity secondary investor since 1998, purchasing limited partner interests in venture capital and buyout funds, organizing fund restructurings and corporate spinouts and acquiring direct interests in venture-backed companies. Prior to joining HighGear Ventures, Steve was Managing Director with VCFA Group where he was actively involved in originating, evaluating, negotiating and closing new secondary investments for funds having an aggregate of $650 million of capital commitments. What is a secondary? A venture capital secondary represents the purchase of common or preferred shares in venture backed companies or limited partner interests in venture capital funds by a new investor, replacing an existing investor in the company or fund. For sellers, a secondary provides another means to obtain liquidity from an investment absent M&A or an IPO. For the secondary buyer, these purchases offer the opportunity to price investments at a discount to current fair value and offer the promise of a shorter time to liquidity than most investors in the asset class (because the purchases occur later in a company’s lifecycle). Secondary investments may provide the opportunity to achieve strong returns in venture capital but with lower risk.
April 09, 2020