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. 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 businesses that build cloud-hosted solutions for enterprise customers. We have a strong preference for recurring revenue models (SaaS) and we invest at a very particular stage: post seed (=post MVP) and pre-Series A (=at the early stages of product/market fit). In exceptional cases, we also invest at seed stage. We are not a “thematic” investor (e.g. AI, Blockchain, Bioinfomatics, Quantum Computing, IoT etc.) but we do take into account how advancements in such areas are likely to affect the defensibility of the proposition.
How is Beacon different from other tech investors?
Our ability to add value post investment is our key differentiator.
We have an unusually deep experience in very early stage enterprise tech, both in “high velocity” ventures (low Annual Contract Value, mostly digital, low touch sales) and in more “traditional” enterprise ones with higher touch sales models (+$100k Annual Contract Value).
Though each venture has its own set of challenges, some of the most common areas where we help the founders are to: set budgets and targets that aim to establish a steep growth trajectory, build a sales team and develop a sales playbook that can deliver repeat sales, build a suite of best practice tools and practices to track & optimise the trajectory of the business and set KPI targets that will position them amongst the best-in-class in their category.
We try to help each and every portfolio company, inevitably though we are closer to those where we hold a board position. The best way to find out what makes us different is to talk to one of the portfolio companies where we hold a board position.
What is Beacon’s typical investment size and stage?
We invest at a very particular stage: post seed (=post MVP) and pre-Series A (=at the early stages of product/market fit). In exceptional cases, we also invest at seed stage. Typically the fundraising rounds are between £500,000 and £2m. Beacon aims to provide between 30 and 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 to date. 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 “5Ts”:
- 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, and
- Tenability: ability to build what some call a “moat” (=defensible USP) over a relatively short period of time.
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?
See above, “How is Beacon different from other tech investors”?
“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
“Working with Beacon has been one of the best experiences an early-stage startup can have. We have gained a huge amount in terms of mentorship, support and guidance that go far beyond just having an investor. It felt like having another co- founder working with us day and night at all levels to make sure we succeed.”
Maria Chatzou & Pablo Prieto, Lifebit