One of the London tech start-up scene’s most famous faces, former Just Eat CEO David Buttress, is set to join venture capital firm 83North.
Buttress joined JustEat in 2006 when the firm first started its operations in the UK, having relocated from Denmark, where the company had been founded.
As CEO, Buttress led the firm through a period of explosive growth, as Just Eat completed an IPO via the London stock exchange in 2014, one of the largest in Europe to date, on the way to reaching its current valuation – in excess of $5 billion dollars.
83North was an early investor in JustEat; the VC is an international firm with offices in London and Tel Aviv, Israel, and a mission statement centred around backing exceptional entrepreneurial talent to create category leading global companies.
Besides JustEat, 83North have backed the likes of Nordic mobile payments startup iZettle, financial services “Unicorn” in waiting Ebury, Hybris, acquired by software giant SAP, Social Point, acquired by Take2, and Payoneer.
In fact, 83North started life as an affiliate fund of Greylock Partners, the renowned Silicon Valley VC, before becoming an independent entity, investing exclusively in European and Israeli entrepreneurs – although more than half of its portfolio companies have operations in the US.
Buttress’ decision to leave JustEat in February this year was considered a shock at the time due to his time at the helm of the company being a success; one analyst at Jefferies described Buttress as “one of the stand out entrepreneurs of the last decade”; he currently remains on the board as a Non-Executive Director.
In a statement, Buttress said:
“The world of technology is diversifying from its traditional centre of gravity in Silicon Valley. The right combination of great entrepreneurs, disruptive technologies and financial backing is opening up exciting opportunities for world-leading technology companies to be created and managed out of Europe and Israel,”
Laurel Bowden, a General Partner at 83North, commented: Every entrepreneur in the world could benefit from his unique operational experience whether they’re building a consumer or enterprise tech business.”
“We believe David’s experience in scaling technology businesses will help us to continue delivering on that strategy.”
At a Dreamstake Founder Stories event at Google Campus in 2015, Buttress spoke at length about his personal journey, coming from a humble mining village in the South of Wales, and about how he pounded the streets of London signing up takeaway services one by one upon first joining JustEat in 2006, after leaving a senior marketing role at Coke to join JustEat’s only other UK based employee, Jesper Buch, as they launched the product in London.
The two worked out of a South London office where mice chewed through the power cables, and the company nearly went bust on three separate occasions, before an angel investor brought in extra funds. Less than a decade later, JustEat were receiving 1,000 orders per minute, and were in 23 countries, with a total addressable market of £23 billion.