“I am an entrepreneur, angel investor and limited partner.
Years ago, I started Ballou PR, a European communications and strategy agency that works with high-growth technology and technology-enabled companies, as well as technology investors. As Ballou PR is at the meeting point of business and media, we’ve been early adopters of leading technologies and monitored their development.
Ballou PR’s success has allowed me to invest in start-ups and venture capital firms, and has also given me exposure to thousands of different business models, so that I know what works, what doesn’t, and what to watch for. Along with my colleagues, I forecast trends, understand and examine human behaviour, and use these insights to position businesses for high growth.
Companies I’ve worked with include 83 North, Accel Partners, AOL Networks, Autonomy, Badoo, Box, Criteo, Duolingo, Emailvision, Eventbrite, Evernote, Facebook, Flipboard, GoEuro, GP Bullhound, HotelTonight, Infectious Media, Lakestar, Pinterest, Seatwave, SendGrid, Shopping.com, Stack Overflow, Stripe, TechCrunch Disrupt, TransferWise, Twilio, Unruly Media, Waze, WhatsApp, White Star Capital, Wildfire Interactive, Yelp and Zendesk.
I invest in companies with teams I’ve known previously who have a straightforward business model and to whom I can bring more than money to the table. A snapshot of my angel investments:
- tv (France): Spotify for TV, which recently raised a $23.3M Series B with Sky as an investor
- ai (Latvia/US): AI for automating marketing communication
- Orson & Co (UK/US): a touchscreen software and publishing company founded by a bestselling novelist Richard Mason that unleashes a media-rich storytelling format created by artists, not coders
- Black Country Atelier, a UK-based education software company teaching young people skills in modern digital design and manufacturing technologies (3D printing, scanning, smart electronics and programming).
Furthermore, I am also a limited partner in Berlin-based Cavalry Ventures, which now takes up the lion’s share of my time, as I guide them to become a more reflective venture capital firm, placing diversity in the center of their investment thesis. The partners and I firmly believe that this will result in far above average returns.
I advise and mentor many CEOs and am a frequent speaker on the topic of angel investing, the importance of reputation and a strong corporate culture, and the responsibilities of investors, be they angels or limited partners.”