Anybody who reads this blog regularly or who has even the most fleeting association with London’s start-up scene will know all about Dreamstake, the platform for start-ups with a ranking algorithm which looks at 50+ data points in order to determine what stage a start-up is at and what the founders need to do in order to get themselves investor ready.
A large section of London’s angel investor community will also know about the HoxTech Angels, which takes place every third Monday of the month at the Hoxton Hotel on Great Eastern Street, in their private apartment on the ground floor. Hosted by Paul Dowling and Marina Atarova, Dreamstake’s founders, the evening represents an opportunity for the best performing start-ups on the Dreamstake platform to pitch to an assembled group of angel investors, carefully sourced and vetted by Paul and Marina.
Both are passionate not only about spreading the word about the amazing founders, coders and teams pushing the boundaries of what is achievable by leveraging the latest technology, but also about putting them in touch with angels who can provide not just cash, but mentoring, contacts, and have the time of their lives doing so.
“It’s not just about business, and it’s not just about the generous tax breaks angels receive when investing in tech start-ups, it’s about having fun. Early stage tech is risky, but the rewards can be off the scale, and the opportunity to work with inspiring, dedicated and passionate founders is an opportunity you simply don’t want to miss out on”, says Paul.
It takes a certain type of personality to back a tech start-up, help them grow, and reap the substantial rewards on offer; for the experienced tech investor, HoxTech evenings are a chance to run the rule over the cream of the crop in a convivial atmosphere with like-minded people. For the inexperienced or first time investor, there’s no better place to start looking for your first deal. Syndicates are common, so have a read through the details of the start-ups below (all pitched on Monday evening), contact Paul or Marina if you’d like further info, and make sure you come along to the next event!
Lexoo is a curated legal marketplace that helps small businesses find the right lawyer. Founder Daniel Van Binsbergen set up Lexoo to help solve 3 of the major “pain points” experienced when trying to find a suitable lawyer; a lack of price transparency, the difficulty of judging the quality and experience of law practicioners, and the length of time it takes to find, vet and appoint a suitable candidate.
Lexoo promise to send clients using their advanced tech platform up to 4 quotes within 24 hours from pre-screened specialised lawyers. All of the lawyers on their online platform have been vetted, interviewed by telephone and appointed because they are specialists in a particular area of law, giving Lexoo the ability to quickly match the right lawyer to appropriate client.
The SME legal services market in the UK is worth $17.2 billion, and expansion internationally is also an interesting prospect, considering the size of the global market. Currently the team are experiencing 30% month on month growth, with more than 20 clients using the service every day. The service is free for customers; Lexoo is paid a 10% commission by lawyers.
Currently the platform hosts 180 lawyers and Lexoo are on a healthy 7 figure annualised gross transaction run rate. Having already completed a £260k seed round last year, Lexoo is now pitching for their next round which will be led by Forward Partners (who also led the seed round last year.
QuickQueue is a free mobile app that allows you to beat the queues in coffee shops and quick-service restaurants by ordering ahead, eliminating what founder Maxwell Harding describes as “the world’s daily queueing routines”.
Discover nearby stores, browse the menu, pre-order and pre-pay, collect without the queues, and earn loyalty points, says the team’s pitch deck. The app even remembers your habits so that you can enjoy your favourite orders in the touch of a button.
Founder Harding, who cut his teeth at Terra Firma under the mentorship of renowned dealmaker Guy Hands, believes that the traditional economy is ripe for disruption now that consumers have become accustom to “hyperconvenience” after the proliferation of on-demand startups such as AirBnB and Uber. The team estimate that the out-of-home drinks and food market is worth up to £500 billion, meaning that the winner in this space is set to be Europe’s next unicorn.
Leading the tech side of the business is co-founder Robert Kehres, who achieved a First Class Honours degree from Cambridge University in Computer Science, and building the global partner base is co-founder Daniel Hodge, previously head of sales at a tech start-up where he originated clients including Amazon, Play.com and Walmart.
A pre-release version of the app was recently shared with a small number of pilot testers; to date over 1,000 transactions have been made and reviews have been overwhelmingly positive. The team will “go global, fast!” when they conclude their round of £1 million.
3 million cups of coffee, tea and juices are sold every day in London; a 0.5% share of that market would be enough to see QuickQueue’s asset-light business model break even. The team have integrated with Stripe, the billion-dollar payments start-up, to securely handle transactions with complete transparency.
WishWant.co.uk allows its users to create and curate a collection of gifts made by independent and boutique brands for their intended recipient to choose from.
In today’s world people are struggling to find appropriate gifts for loved ones, or to mark events, so why not pass on the final decision to the recipient rather than give them something they have no use for. WishWant produce a high quality physical gift catalogue with over 1,000 gifts from 100+ niche designers; you can do the final ordering online and add personalised messages for all the gifts you select for your receipient to choose from.
WishWant uses a dropshipping model meaning there is no requirement to store inventory, reducing costs, and has achieved 2m visitors and 130 transactions with no marketing spend to date, leveraging a proprietary email database of 2,000+ contacts.
The team have already received a grant worth £42k from the UKTI and are looking to raise a further £150k to fund a marketing push utilising celebrity endorsements and social media campaigns. The team is led by 3 founders who specialise in branding, programming, and product design. They believe an exit to a major rival, such as Amazon, is achievable and are anticipate providing investors with a 10x return over a 7 year period.
Serket: A team of Cambridge based scientists hoping to disrupt the world of medicine delivery and support for pharmacies and patients, Serket estimate that more than £300 billion worth of medical products are wasted each year owing to patients not following through with the medical programmes they are prescribed.
The team believe that the app which they have developed can solve this problem by providing alerts to tell patients when to take medicine, and providing interactive services that allow a patient to feel like they are taking an active part in the healing process.
The app the team has developed is safe & professional, with a range of features that make it easy for them work alongside pharmacies such as Boots or Lloyds Pharmacy, helping them to build brand loyalty e.g by adding stickers to medicine bottles with a code that can communicate with smartphones and allow Serket to identify and activate it’s unique range of services.
The revenue model is based on activation fees; the team have carried several focus groups which show that users would be accepting of a fee of around 30 pence to activate the service. Additionally, Serket hope to partner with insurance companies and share valuable anonymous user data with major pharma companies.
Serket’s founders anticipate quarterly revenues of circa £300k and are looking to raise a round of £200k to fund software development, marketing and administration at a pre money valuation of 800k. Break even is achievable by 2017, the founders believe.
XCordis uses proprietary Intelligent Automated Payments technology to improve the way money flows through transactions. The company are pioneering 2 different models, Franchise Pay and Pay Properties, introducing features such as automated billing, collection and distribution, instantaneous billing, multi vendor baskets and high volume disbursements to ensure a business can handle its payment structures as efficiently as possible.
The team hope to address markets such as franchisers, FOREX, insurance, wealth management, property and monetising social media. The team is led by Robert Atkin and also includes a former MD at SWIFT Payments, an advisor to the cabinet office and a former MD at Goldman Sachs.
A Joint Venture with OSTC F/X will provide XCordis with £150k of funding, a sales team and warm leads to 200 + corporates companies. Revenues are earned form transaction fees, card processing fees and setup, customisation and integration. Anthony Hicks at PayPal recently said of Xylyx, the team’s software: “there’s nothing in the world like XYLYX”. Another JV, The Payments Franchise, is launching on Sept 3rd.
The team are looking for £500k go-to-market funding and introductions to more customers and clients.
Glisser is a presentation software that engages audiences at live events and supplies presenters with valuable leads and feedback. The software capitalises on converging trends such as BYOD, social media, big data and the rise of organic events as inspired by sites such as MeetUp.com and EventBrite, and has the capability to live share slides.
The Glisser software, which allows audience members to submit comments to the presenter during a live show, askying questions and commenting on the subject matter in exchange for providing their email details, is aimed at event planners, presenters and internal comms.
Glisser founder Michael Piddock believes this is a hot market, with applications such as Prezi attracting more than 50m users, and with slide share users numbering more than 4.3m. Piddock also describes the perfect use case being self discovery, citing a recent presentation given at SXSW where the presenter chose to use Glisser unprompted having discovered the app by accident, and subsequently tweeting about how effective it had been.
Although small, Glisser is revenue generating, has patents pending for their tech and the team hope that positive publicity can help the spread of the app and that exponential growth is possible. Having already secured backing from Downing Ventures and an Angel Investor, the team are seeking further funds for expansion.