Portfolio #other
2 November 2020

Eliminating an obsession with fundraising: a portrait of Consilience Ventures

In the ever-growing investment landscape, funds are multiplying and diversifying, and for startups there is more to raising investment than the money and the media moment. With #QVCS Maddyness profiles different funds to give founders and entrepreneurs the information they need to choose the right investor. We spoke to the team at Consilience Ventures to understand their VC market network.

The story of Consilience Ventures begins with acknowledging one of the biggest challenges facing the venture capital industry. While working at Microsoft Ventures, Kevin Monserrat began noticing how time-consuming (and frustrating) it was for startup founders to raise capital – on average almost two-thirds of founder’s time was being taken up trying to obtain funding for their business. At the same time, these founders were handing over equity in their business in exchange for much-needed services and professional expertise.

Kevin was surprised at how many business professionals accepted “sweat equity” in exchange for their services, which made him question whether startups truly needed capital, or – more likely – access to talent and business know-how. At the same time, business professionals Kevin spoke to were unanimous in their view that the sweat equity model really didn’t work for them either, as it has offered them no liquidity while they shouldered all the risk.

The solution: a VC market network that values talent, not capital

Together with Pierre Martin, Kevin realised that if they could align stakeholder interests, they could eliminate the obsession with fundraising that puts excessive pressure on startups and their founders, and instead giving them access to the vital skills, talent and business tools that would help accelerate their growth.

Realising their vision would require exceptional skills and expertise, they teamed up with Dr Radouane Oudrhiri. “Dr Rad” was developing his own startup micro-financing model called ‘Sprint Financing’, but still lacked the financial and legal expertise to create the operational and regulatory framework to make this a reality. Fortunately, they happened to meet Martin and Paul, who both immediately grasped the concept and its potential. Consilience Ventures is the result.

We’ve created a market network that brings together a business community of equals, with the aim of giving outstanding entrepreneurs and startups the professional resources and expertise they need to accelerate their growth.

Which industries are you working in?

DeepTech, MedTech, Fintech.

What do you look for in a founder?

Because of the democratic nature of the Consilience Ventures community, we only select companies that reflect our core values. We are unified, bold, resilient, purposeful, agile and authentic, and we expect our portfolio companies to radiate the same core values that we do.

Beyond our core values, we base our portfolio company selection criteria on the following:

Diversity of leadership: We look for management teams comprising two or three founders, and you should have at least one technical founder who can clearly demonstrate the clear path of how to grow the business.

Customer-obsessed: We choose management teams that show they care about their customers and are genuinely interested in making their lives easier.

Clarity of thought: You should be able to articulate the business opportunity, and give an assessment of the market you’re pursuing. We’ll expect you to explain – with passion and precision – the motives of your customers and how your product or service removes barriers or solves their problems.

Consilience Ventures Investment Thesis: Phase 1

Can you talk about your current portfolio?

We like Seed and Pre-series deal where we can add at least 30% of tangible value in the round. Our model allows us to quantify the real value our network of experts and investors can bring to the companies. We always co-invest alongside VCs and super angels.

All our portfolio companies benefit from converting their shares into a portfolio security token that enables them to buy professional services from exited entrepreneurs turned startup experts, which gives them access to more than 32 domain of expertise like sales, marketing, coaching, pricing and product market fit.

We are proud investors in:

SIME Clinical AI, a platform company committed to preventative, personalised data-driven medicine whose solutions provide precise insights to doctors in decisive moments, when rapid intervention can save a life. Which is now raising a Series A.

Digital Clipboard, a fully customisable and secure digital client onboarding solution for professional advisors. Their tablet-based app improves customer experience and eliminates admin for better client onboarding with less effort.

Cerebreon is developing an innovative fintech software product targeted at the UK Insolvency sector bringing machine intelligence to the insolvency sector, increasing efficiency, reducing default levels and improving net margins for all stakeholders.

CheckStep, a deep-tech company that reduces the cost and burden of online moderation and identifies infodemic and bias content within the platform. Using AI and crowd sourcing, CheckStep understand who benefits from, believes in and refutes User-Generated Content, and enabling platforms to have greater over their online content.

How has COVID-19 changed the way you operate?

We are 100% and accelerating companies via our proprietary tech platform.
It is too early to see the real impact of the Pandemic in the UK VC sector.

The results will be visible 6-12 months from now and I suspect that it will last for at least 36 months.

With that in mind, we’ve done everything possible to offer startups the right resources at the right time while ensuring they focus on growing the business instead of raising capital.

What does the future look like? New trends/technologies, changes in the global/local economic landscape?

I do not have a crystal ball, but the next two years are about to be difficult which is the ideal place to grow amazing and world changing companies.

A cultural shift is taking place, and startups are reimaging their relationship with the traditional VC funding models. And they are starting to look beyond cash.

We believe that Fintech and MedTech will greatly benefit from the economic crisis that we are going to experience.

During COVID we’ve therefore assembled two industry committees that will lead investments and the development of our private network in Fintech and MedTech.

What makes Consilience Ventures different?

We are not a fund but a fintech company building a frictionless startup ecosystem leveraging technology to make a difference to our investors, experts and startup founders. The below explain best CV philosophy:

What one piece of advice would you give founders?

If you are a competitive business looking for capital, you just need cash, raise it from a VC.

If you are an innovative company creating a new market, you need the right resource at the right time including cash, come and talk to one of the Consilience Ventures members.

Discover Consilience Ventures