In terms of revenue milestones and other KPIs, at what stage does Outward invest?
We do not have rigid must-haves on revenue and business traction. As no two businesses are the same, we look at multiple and diverse data points to build conviction on the need for a product or service to exist. You may have a small number of customers yet you have amassed engagement data indicating product/market fit. You may have minimal revenue yet your launch customer(s) are influential and evangelical about your product.
How much does Outward typically invest in the first investment round?
Our initial entry investment is £750k to £1.5m in funding rounds of £1m to £10m. We reserve the majority of our funds to make follow-on investments in our portfolio companies.
Does Outward take a lead investor role?
As decisive, first-mover investors, we are experienced at performing a lead investor role in coordinating other investors in the funding round. That said, our approach is always collaborative and our priority is to ensure the best outcome for the investee with minimal fuss. As such, we are equally happy to co-lead or follow terms set by a lead investor depending on the round composition.
What does the typical investment process look like?
We are a small and nimble team, and as such, we try to keep our investment process as streamlined as possible. Initial conversations with founders will be focused on building conviction on these five questions which may take place over 1-3 calls: 1) Why will this team succeed? 2) Why is this market attractive? 3) Why does this product need to exist? 4) Why could this company become a category leader? 5) Why does Outward VC need to invest?
Once the investment team is confident, we invite founders to a meeting with all seven team members. Following this, we will debate internally and come to a decision on whether or not to invest.
Who are Outward’s Limited Partners?
The fund’s cornerstone Limited Partners are two international financial institutions – Investec Bank and NIBC (Blackstone Group). In addition, our Limited Partners comprise a range of institutions, family offices and private investors, many of whom have extensive global networks in financial services.
How do you help and support founders post-investment?
Post-investment, our mission is to provide tailored support to our portfolio companies. This includes new hires, commercial partnerships, board construction, positioning for the next funding round, and marketing support. To ensure we understand the needs of the business, a Board Observer right is a part of our investment terms. Before choosing us as an investor partner in your business, we ask that you speak with the founders in our portfolio to understand Outward’s pragmatic and high-impact approach to adding value post-investment.
What is Outward’s definition of fintech or ‘connected fintech’?
A quick review of Outward’s existing portfolio should give a flavour of our broad definition of fintech. Our mission is to empower start-ups seeking to be the most important fintech companies in the world. We cover the full range of financial services from banking to capital markets to asset management to insurance, and our portfolio is equally weighted across B2B and B2C. In addition, we also actively seek out adjacent and connected sectors that we believe will have a key role shaping the future of financial services.