Exclusive editorial feature
Interview with Callum Mclean, Founder of London.com that successfully raised £120,000 of funding through Venture Giants for his major tech project.
London.com, a Venture started by Callum McLean former commercial Director of Visit London, has today confirmed that he has successfully found funding for his high profile website London.com by using Venture Giants, a website devoted to finding investors for entrepreneurs, to find him a tech angel investor.
This is a Major project for the tourism industry in the UK as the website www.london.com will be aimed at the millions of visitors thinking to come to London.
London.com will provide a boost to the tourism sector in the UK as the service includes information on events, restaurants, transport, accommodation, and attractions in the city and it's surrounding areas.
Callum Mclean, Founder of London.com met with Rishi Anand of Venture Giants for a Q and A session on how he found the whole experience with dealing with Venture Giants also on his entrepreneurial journey in finding angel Investment for London.com, and the advice for entrepreneurs looking to raise Angel investment for their business.
"So Callum, how did you find the standard and quality of investors overall that Venture Giants found for you?"
I found the standard of investors on Venture Giants to be very high, and we elicited attention from lot of very well suited mentors who were interested in our proposal. Venture Giants seems to have a very nice vetting process for investors, which helped pair us with industry experts and people who have a real insight into the online world. What we ended up with was an investor that understood the technical requirements for our venture – something that allowed us to assemble resources quickly so that we would get to market within 10 weeks, before London 2012.
"What benefits did you find there was with using Venture Giant?"
The core benefit of the site was to find an investor to bring the business to the next stage, but what we actually ended up with was a technically skilled investor that allowed us to get to the next level quickly and efficiently.
In today’s world, it’s actually difficult to have one place where entrepreneurs can quickly solicit contact with possible investors in a safe, trusted forum. Venture Giants definitely facilitated this. It helped us get things moving when time was really of the essence.
"Though this may be confidential, how much Angel investment do you raise through the contacts that Venture Giants found you?"
We secured up to £120k. However, the deal allows us some flexibility in the amount of investment we use. The more we use, the greater the equity offered to the investor.
"What troubles did you have in finding investment previously and using other angel investment networks on the internet?"
The main challenges were associated with the early stage of the potential investment. A number of organisations were approached directly but despite being very interested in the domain and business plan, did not want to risk investing at such an early stage.
The other challenge is identifying an angel network which was actually going to provide a return on investment. Unfortunately, there are a number of other service providers out there asking for relatively significant levels of upfront fee’s with absolutely no guarantee of success. It is incredibly difficult to assess which netwroks offer real value and which don’t.
When we considered Venture Giants, it became clear from the upfront fee’s that the potential benefit clearly outweighed the low upfront fee.
"What are your future-plans for London.com now that you have found investment through Venture Giant? What’s next for you and London.com?"
We’re still adding value to the site, providing exciting content and special deals for tourists and Londoners alike. We could possibly be launching another site in a different location, very soon.
"As a highly successful entrepreneur yourself, do you think that the potential career experience and mentorship that an angel investor can provide is important to a UK startups overall success?"
In the case of certain businesses, like London.com, there were a number of projects that warrant specific expertise, and that we needed to outsource, both in terms of finding great value and executing the design of the online system to be scalable. SEO has also become such a pivotal variable for web-based offerings. So you can get good advice from an angel investor who has been through the process before. They can also be a great benefit when finding the right partner for different parts of your business.
"What are your feelings towards entrepreneurs that are looking to raise capital from Crowd Funding sites? Or is the potential mentorship that an investor could provide a small business crucial to the chances of its overall success in today’s climate?"
It depends on a number of variables. In the current economic climate, starting a company from scratch is incredibly challenging. As we all know, there isn’t the financial support through traditional routes, therefore, as an entrepreneur, you have to assess all investment channels, including Crowd Funding sites.
The challenge for most new companies is funding that first stage of development and proving the concept and business model before going for further rounds of investment.
However, as with any investment, you really have to weigh up the pro’s and con’s and be completely critical about your own strengths and weaknesses. This will be definitely help you decide the level of mentoring you are looking for.
Venture Giant's primary role is get startups in front of credible, vetted angel investors in a low cost, safe environment.
London.com was an exceptional project, however, Callum required the technical expertise of an angel investment that understood the industry and the technical requirements which is why he chose Venture Giants to find him an investor.
Once the final draft was agreed and approved, Venture Giants handpicked the tech investors, private investors and angel investors from it's own vetted network of investors and sent out Callum's London.com project each one of them.
Venture Giants Network of Angel Investors can be seen here.
London.com was launched just in time for the Summer Olympic Games, and included guides to navigating the city over the course of the seven weeks of festivities. However, this would not have been possible without the one particular investor contact that Venture Giants had found for London.com, as the tech fund not only provided the necessary capital to get London.com launched in time, but the Lucey Investment Fund also opened up a full team of specialists in Design, Architecture, Development, Sales & Marketing upon investment.
The Bottom Line
Upto £120,000 raised
The deal allows some flexibility on the amount of investment that can be used. The more used - the greater the equity offered to the investor.
Benefits of using Venture Giant:
6 months listing period
No commission on any money raised
Pay on contact business model
Unlimited investor contacts
Inclusion in Venture Giants monthly newsletter to Investors
One, transparent, listing fee that is upto ten times less our nearest competitor.
Angel Investors Venture Giants is a premier UK business Angel investment network that matches private investors with entrepreneurs that are seeking investment capital and business funding.
Looking for Funding for your tech project? Head to the Entrepreneur section now to find out how Venture Giants could assist you in finding the investment capital you are seeking.
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