We hope you had an excellent Christmas and are looking forward to an exciting year ahead.
2014 was a very busy and productive year here at the Forsyth Group, building teams across the emerging technology ecosystem, including fintech, ecommerce, biotech and social media. With everyone back to work and the tech scene bustling with excitement for 2015, we thought we’d give a little round-up of some of last year’s trends:
Hiring Big Data expertise continues to be a challenge for the start-up ecosystem, and the need to control and analyse data spans a wide range of tech sectors. However, with the London start-up scene buzzing, candidates are finally leaping from the banks and corporates into early stage ventures. For example, we have been working with the founders of Last.fm on their new venture, Lumi.do, to hire top-level data science and product candidates for their content curating platform. These candidates left giants such as Ebay and Microsoft Bing to join a more exciting, fast-paced, high growth culture, and to be a part of building the future of the web.
London has become an innovation hub for fintech. Figures released at the end of November by London & Partners showed that London based fintech firms had raised $539M, which was triple the amount raised in 2013. We placed a number of high level executives in London for fintech start-ups in 2014, for companies head-quartered around Europe, including Iceland (www.meniga.com) and Denmark (www.inpay.com), who saw London as the clear choice to build out their teams.
Social continues to be a hot sector. We recently helped social fashion e-commerce site, Styloko, hire a rockstar CEO and well-renowned NED, both of whom were excited to join a company at the forefront of shopping discovery. We have also been working with 23snaps, the leading social network for families, helping them build out their marketing and data science teams, and to hire an NED. As pointed out in a recent blog, Mobile Social Networking is the fastest-growing consumer mobile app category, and this looks set to continue in 2015.
2014 saw a rush of disruptive medtech and biotech start-ups. From personalised mobile healthcare advice (Your.MD, CEO), advanced micro-needles (Innoture, Commercial & Operations Director), to physiotherapy fitness equipment and data platforms (MuJo Mechanics, Commercial Director), we have already seen a lot of innovation in this space, and we predict a lot more investment this year. In 2014 we attended the KPMG Future of Healthcare event, which was designed to help early-stage health-tech companies better understand the UK healthcare industry, get some advice on how to break into the market, and raise angel investment. Corporates are beginning to see that they have a vested interest in engaging with start-ups, as it will help them keep up with the innovation smaller companies are bringing to the market.
At the Forsyth Group, our relationship with the tech scene is a symbiotic one, as we are also active investors. As investors in Seedcamp, we were delighted to see Transferwise raising another $25 million and boasting a high profile with adverts scattered all over the UK. UberVU, where we placed the CEO and VP Marketing, also had a fantastic year, with their acquisition by Hootsuite. We recently invested in fund III of Seedcamp, and we are sure that this year will see continued success of their portfolio companies.
Wishing you all the best for 2015 and we look forward to seeing you soon.
The Forsyth Group team