Beacon invests in entrepreneurs who are able to articulate a clear market opportunity and are committed to building a substantial business. We provide funding and, vitally, expertise based on our experience from having invested in, and worked with, entrepreneurs who transformed their industries. Beacon has invested in 16 companies to date whose aggregate value has grown 5x in 5 years to reach £200m. We invest in B2B enterprise technology ventures at pre-series A stage that are raising between £0.5m to £2m.
In 2014, Beacon was awarded an allocation of funds from, and is a partner of, the London Co-Investment Fund.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who is the Beacon team?
Founder & Managing Partner: Maria Dramalioti-Taylor
Venture Partners: they are experienced angel investors, entrepreneurs, technologists and finance professionals who help us source and evaluate opportunities and may choose to co-invest on a deal-by-deal basis. They lend their expertise and extensive business network to the companies and may, occasionally and where relevant, join their board. Most of them were the original syndicate members of Beacon (then AngelLab, see also history of Beacon Capital) and have been working together since 2012.
Kevin Chong, Andrew Fullerton, Dionysia Kaplan (VP In Residence), Larry Levine (VP In Residence), Daniel McPherson, Steve Mountain, Kasia Robinski, David Ryan, Ami Shpiro, Andrew Weisz, Jeremy Yap, John Yeomans
What is the history of Beacon Capital?
Beacon’s investment activities began in 2012 as a private syndicate called ‘AngelLab’. Early investments by the AngelLab syndicate included some of the most well known companies to emerge from London’s Tech City including Azimo, Adbrain (now exited), ClusterHQ (raised $12m from Accel though ultimately failed), Crowdvisions (now exited) and Flypay. In 2014, the firm was renamed Beacon Capital and the members of the syndicate became the Beacon Venture Partners.
What is Beacon’s investment focus?
We invest in startup businesses that build transformative technology products for enterprise customers. We are not a “thematic” investor (e.g. AI, Blockchain, Bioinfomatics, Quantum Computing, AR/VR, IoT etc.). Instead, we look for three things:
i) how the startup’s technology and USP will impact the balance sheet of large enterprises,
ii) whether the technology lends itself to a recurring revenue model, and
iii) whether the business model is scalable.
We back entrepreneurs who are able to articulate clearly the market opportunity and who, we believe, have the potential to build a substantial business. We invest at a very particular stage: post seed and pre-Series A. In exceptional cases, we also invest at seed stage.
How is Beacon different from other tech investors?
Early stage venture capital is a labour intensive business and most funds cannot support a broadly resourced investor team with adequate experience and engagement leading to sub-optimal diversification and poor post-investment value creation. Beacon’s diversified team of venture partners (all of whom have invested as a team since 2012) gives it a unique edge for portfolio diversification and post investment value creation.
Our ability to add value post investment is a key strength. As investors in the London technology sector since its early days, we have built a trusted network that we leverage to provide assistance in vital areas (see below for how we work with portfolio companies post investment).
What is Beacon’s typical investment size and stage?
Beacon invests post seed and pre-Series A. This typically means fundraising rounds of between £500,000 and £2m. Beacon aims to provide 50% of the round.
Does Beacon follow on in later funding rounds?
Beacon’s investment strategy involves following on in Series A rounds. In some cases, we can make additional investments beyond our pre-emption rights. In exceptional cases, we may also participate in Series B rounds.
Can Beacon be lead investor?
Beacon is an experienced lead investor. We have been lead investor in the majority of our investments. As lead investor, we assist founders by coordinating and syndicating with other investors where necessary. We are equally comfortable with participating in, rather than leading, funding rounds.
What are Beacon’s key investment criteria?
We find it easier to refer to our criteria as the “4Ts”:
- Target market: must be greater than £1bn,
- Team: impressive founding team, with a strong technical co-founder, and track record that shows ambition and ability,
- Traction: some, even if early, validation of product/market fit,
- Timing: logical, fact based, explanation as to why now is the right time to enter the market and take advantage of the opportunity.
How long does Beacon take to issue a term sheet?
Each case is different. Depending on the material provided by founders, we aim to issue termsheets 3-6 weeks after first contact. It is particularly helpful where founders come prepared with comprehensive material on their addressable market. It takes at least 2-3 meetings for us to decide whether to issue a term sheet. Termsheets are issued when we believe Beacon and the founders can work well together. We do not ever issue termsheets “speculatively”.
How long does Beacon take to close a funding transaction after issuing a term sheet?
Our term sheets are subject to completing our due diligence. This can take 2-4 weeks. The time it takes to close a transaction can vary greatly depending on the level of due diligence information prepared in advance by the founders.
How does Beacon work with its portfolio companies post investment?
Beacon is a highly engaged investor. We have a board/observer role in most of our portfolio companies. We leverage our experience and track record as one of the most successful early stage investors in the London Tech ecosystem to add value in vital areas, including:
- Business development
- Digital marketing
- Financial modelling and structuring
- Office space
- Positioning for next funding round and/or exit options
“In Beacon we have an experienced, long term partner that understands our product and has that “magic balance” between being hands on and light touch that is an entrepreneur’s dream”.
Regina Shmerlin & Roman Gaufman, Xanview