You're as good as the people around you
Same goes for us
Andrew initially practised as a neurosurgeon before starting his career in investment. He now focuses on medical technologies, digital health and the life-science sector. He serves on the board of several companies ranging from diagnostics and imaging to pharmaceuticals and biomarkers.
“I appreciate founders with ‘fast clock speed’: determined and resourceful people who are always thinking about the next iteration of their business to retain its edge."
“It’s not just about the financial return. My favourite investments have resulted in lifechanging outcomes, giving hope to people with degenerative or terminal diseases."
“I was a surgeon and a research scientist. Being part of that clinical and academic environment means I can bridge the investment and academic communities.”
Abcodia, Aridhia Informatics , Dexela, Exco InTouch, My Meds & Me, uMotif
Cat joined Albion from Goldman Sachs where she worked on IPOs, M&A and leveraged buyouts in New York and London.
“The founders I love working with have vision, hustle and entrepreneurial flair. At the same time, I think the tech industry’s lionisation of the ‘founder-in-chief’ is unhelpful. In reality, the most impressive entrepreneurs are characterised by their ability to assemble and motivate great teams”.
“One investment I’m involved with is a cybersecurity firm that totally gets that need. The founding team is impressive, providing drive, vision and culture while recruiting exceptional people”.
Cat’s time in banking taught her how to implement proven systems and run detailed analysis. “It sounds boring I know - but for a B2B SaaS company even at low revenue levels, meaningful analysis can be done on customer engagement, retention, sales efficiency etc. These data points not only reveal the quality of an investment, but can help decipher which parts of a business require the most focus and attention”
Christoph practiced radiology and strategy consulting before becoming an investor in healthcare in 2006. At Albion he focuses on digital health, with investments that run the gamut from rare diseases to care pathway management.
Increasingly, he finds himself drawn to companies with two key attributes:
“Firstly, I enjoy working with mission-driven founders who are passionate about changing healthcare. Improvement in patient outcomes is as important to me as financial success. Secondly, there has to be an outstanding culture. Changing healthcare is incredibly hard and to succeed you need to be able to attract and retain the best people."
“We were one of the first venture funds in Europe to actively target digital health. It's great to see there has been such a rise in activity. There are many more opportunities now for founders and investors to really make a difference. I can’t think of a better time for digital health.”
Arecor, CISIV, Forward Health, Oviva, Proveca, Raremark
David joined Albion from Spark Impact, an early stage investment firm in the North West, where he learnt the art of successful seed investing. He now applies that to the myriad of exciting innovations emerging from UCL.
“The sheer diversity of projects coming out of UCL is mind-boggling. I’ll be looking at research into software for quantum computers one day then super hydrophobic coatings the next."
“We do see a lot of technologies in search of an application, however. The exciting thing is when an entrepreneur has clearly grasped a pain point that no one is serving and is able to cut through technical complexity to communicate their solution."
“We don’t have the metrics and data that later stage investors do so we need to follow our instincts – often investing when the business comprises three people and a laptop.”
“Being connected into Albion’s huge network of experienced entrepreneurs and advisors allows us to help these early stage teams find the support they need grow their business successfully”
Hazy AI , Matr, MediaGamma
Ed heads up the technology team at Albion, focusing on software and disruptive tech services. He joined Albion in 2004 having started his career advising public companies during the .com boom.
“We work with founders who demonstrate all the qualities you need to build a category-defining business: ambition, determination, leadership, and inexhaustible supplies of energy.
“But it can be a lonely path, filled with tough calls. That’s where I can bring relevant experience and support.”
“I’m particularly interested in how industries can be reshaped by an enabling technology, such as we see with AI underpinning the shift to a data-driven economy.”
Black Swan Data, Celoxica, Egress, InCrowd Sports, Koru Kids, Mi-Pay, MPP Global, Panaseer, Quantexa
Emil has been an early stage investor for over 20 years, supporting more than 30 companies spanning software technology, advanced manufacturing, education and healthcare. More recently he has focused on B2B SaaS businesses, AI and Machine Learning.
“We back the type of founder who knows their industry exceptionally well and through that knowledge has identified a significant problem and a way to solve it. In addition, a good founder should be aware of their strengths and weaknesses and be able to build a world class team around them”.
“These are great times to set up and grow a business – with cloud computing, the proliferation of data, AI and Machine Learning so much more is possible. We are only at the start of this new wave of technological development, with exciting new use cases being developed all the time.”.
“Entrepreneurs don’t have all the answers to the challenges of rapidly growing a business. I have worked with many businesses over the years to help them address these challenges and be successful. A good place to start is to make sure the founders have the right team around them.”
Automotive Technik, Blackbay, Phrasee, Zift
Nadine joined the tech investment team from Berytech Fund Management, one of the first VC funds in the Middle East. Her investment career to date has involved big data management, virtual reality, IoT, digital networks and hardware.
“The best founders are visionaries, resilient, leaders but also … you have to be a little bit crazy to view the world differently and thrive to transform an idea into a market-leading business. I get a kick out of working with inspirational founders and helping them build the team and the blocks that will see them realise their vision”
“My background in technology, both engineering and commercialization probably explains my interest in IP-heavy deep tech. I am most interested in innovative models that spring from leveraging new technologies like AI, or using new assets like data or even looking at simple concepts in a complete novel way, to completely disrupt industries and challenge the status quo.”
Robert joined Albion from KPMG where he advised clients on turnaround and M&A situations. He now participates in new investments as well as supporting existing portfolio companies.
“Increasingly we’re investing at an early stage. There’s nothing more satisfying than acting on your interests and seeing the company take off. Of the six early stage investments I’ve been involved with five have gone on to secure Series A funding, so our hit rate is pretty good.
“It’s hard to believe but there are still plenty of markets left to disrupt. Take gyms, for example. One of our investments turned the long-term subscription model upside down with its consumer-centric marketplace. I’m into sports and fitness so it was a great fit for me.”
“I get on well with the founders I work with and I think most entrepreneurs like us as a group. We have a collegiate, friendly culture and we only pipe up when we know we can help.”
Forward Health, InCrowd Sports, PayAsUGym
Robert has been a tech VC for 14 years following a background in corporate finance at KPMG, Credit Suisse First Boston and ING Barings.
“I’m drawn to entrepreneurs who are passionate about building a great business and changing the world. I’m especially drawn to teams who have, or plan to build, significant IP. Scaling these businesses can take time and our evergreen funds can be patient.
“I’m particularly proud of Grapeshot and PSE, who have both scaled dramatically since we invested at Series A, to become global category leaders with wide IP moats.”
“Founders need a VC that reflects their culture. If founders value an investor who can listen, be kind and humble whilst sharing their passion for building a great business – then we’re likely to be a good fit. We don’t interfere in operations but try to help solve the challenges of scaling, offering advice and connections when it’s helpful.”
Academia, Antenova, Anthropics , Convertr, Elateral, OmPrompt, Perpetuum, PSE, Symetrica
After almost eight years at Goldman Sachs JBWere in Australia, Simon completed a neuroscience PhD and postdoc in Cambridge, and worked for several years in the UK biotech startup sector. He brings deep and diverse skills to management of life-science investing for the UCL Technology Fund.
“It’s crucial to have a detailed understanding of the technology you’re investing in, and coming from an academic background means that I thoroughly enjoy getting stuck into cutting-edge science, but I also appreciate the broader investment and market context.”
“Turning discoveries into real-life impact is all about risk management both in terms of the technical hurdles you face, as well as the financial and operational risks. Crucially, it’s also about building real, long-term relationships.”
“I’m passionate about the role we can play in improving people’s lives globally, and I’m honoured to be working with world-leading academic teams at UCL who are making this happen.”
Tanel helps oversee the UCL Technology Fund. Appropriate, then, that he is himself a UCL alumnus with a PhD on microbiome engineering and an MSc in Nanotechnology and Regenerative Medicine.
“Academics are curious by nature - a trait shared by successful entrepreneurs. What sets the Fund’s biggest successes apart though is the founder’s ambition. How great an impact might the research have on society."
“Gene therapy is a great example: a new technology that can save and improve lives. Yet without investment the technology is unlikely to make it out into the clinic. I take great pride in playing a small role in helping these potential life-saving treatments see the light of day."
“I spent years working in a lab. My research background means I appreciate how hard the task is scientifically and practically to bring new ideas and tech to fruition. I’m now in a position to help far more talented scientists than me translate their research into positive public health outcomes.”
Will has spent the better part of two decades investing in tech, healthcare, media and leisure businesses. A qualified chartered accountant, he also has a proven track record in corporate finance.
“I’ve seen boom and bust; bubbles that blow up and burst; bear and bull markets. Through it all, the same qualities shine through.
The best businesses place themselves in a broader context, able to communicate the positive impact they’ll have on the world at large. The best founders are supremely confident in their vision but humble enough to recognise they need good people around them. My job is to make sure growth is sustainable and in the long-term interests of the business, its shareholders and its founders’ vision.
I’m particularly interested in marketplaces that bring people and businesses together. One of my first investments was in a group of founders that were convinced hotel bookings would be transformed by the internet. That company became booking.com.”
Locum's Nest , PayAsUGym
It takes a special person to spot and nurture a special business. Our investors are surgeons, bankers, radiologists, accountants, academics of high renown but we wear our achievements lightly.
Albion Capital Group LLP is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.
Registered in England No. OC341254 Registered Office: 1 King's Arms Yard, London, EC2R 7AF. Member of the British Venture Capital Association