PeopleVentures is a value added investment fund that provides early stage seed+ investment exclusively for people technology startups.
Created and run by domain experts, we are the first dedicated fund to focus purely on the enterprise people technology sector. Our aim is to provide support at what is a particularly difficult stage for founders in this sector.
We also aim to redefine the way investment firms deliver value to their invested community by bringing our extensive network and domain expertise to the table, adding value way beyond finance.
We believe that the focus on people technology is essential for the future of organisations. The HR function has been the 'poor cousin' of enterprise technology since large scale systems began to dominate the landscape some 30+ years ago. Many advances in technology often trickle down to HR and recruitment much later than other functions which, in our opinion, leaves organisations exposed and missing out on significant commercial benefits.
The advent of data science in particular presents a significant opportunity to shift the dial and create huge value for organisations, both commercially but also at a human level for the employees and candidates. Aka the 'consumer' of enterprise technology. Our focus will be to seek out and support those founders who:
- Have data science at the core
- Focus on solutions that understand the enterprise 'consumer'
- Are user experience led
Why a dedicated fund for People Technology?
Early stage seed+ funding of between £200k and £1m is notoriously difficult to raise across the board but is particularly challenging in the HR Sector. The key issues are:
Lack of funding capability
Unlike say, FinTech, the HR and Recruitment sector does not have vast numbers of high net worth individuals or angel groups who know the sector inside out and who are 'current' in their expertise in the domain. This leads to a chronic shortage of critical early stage capital.
Clarity of offering
For the same reasons, it is often very hard and frustrating for founders with great products or ideas to stand out in what is increasingly a crowded space.
Lack of domain expertise
The lack of funding capability means there is an inevitable lack of domain expertise amongst those that are able to invest in the sector. This presents a challenge for out of sector investors when trying to decode what solutions are worth supporting.
Changing the face of investment
The PeopleVentures team aim to address these issues by bringing a new value added model to the investment market.
To put it bluntly, anyone can put in money. And in the early stages, investors will often take a ‘punt’ on an investment, without being willing or able to add any value beyond the financial contribution.
Whilst financial support is key, early stage start ups can benefit hugely from support beyond financing, including domain expertise, product management, market positioning and creating a scaleable culture.