A recent report by news site TechCrunch reveals that startup veteran investor and founder Wendy Tan White MBE is now joining BGF Ventures. Wendy Tan is one of the best known angel investors and entrepreneurs in the UK and this news about her joining BGF Ventures is not something that can be taken lightly.
Why is it a big deal that Wendy Tan White has joined BGF?
BGF is not a small venture, it invests over £1M to £6M in early-stage UK technology companies that are aimed at being worldwide successes. A new partner in a fund is not news every time but what is different about Tan White is her past. She was chief executive officer and co-founder of Moonfruit.com previously. Moonfruit.com, now known as Hibu, is a website builder which was sold to Yell Group for $37 million in 2012.
In addition to this, Wendy Tan was also on the post of General Partner of Entrepreneur First. Before that, Tan White studied computer science at Imperial College, London. She is an advisor to the Dyson School of Dyson Engineering and was inducted into the The Europas, Hall of Fame in 2017. The hall of fame was in partnership with Joe White, the co-founder of Moonfruit and Wendy Tan’s Husband.
Also, Tan White has made over 16 personal investments as an angel investor. She has also mentored more than 40 companies from inception to funding. In companies like Cleo, OpenCosmos, Kwiziq, and Q-bot, Tan White was an early investor. Magic, the machine learning startup which was also mentored by Tan White, was sold to the micro-blogging site Twitter for $150 million last year.
What excites us is not the size of your company today, but the potential tomorrow: White
The £200m fund of BGF Ventures is, in the meantime, entering its third year of investing inside the UK for companies that can do something big worldwide, notes news site TechCrunch. The BGF Ventures has invested around £50m to date in 18 UK companies. These investments include Roli, Hoop, Streetbees, Firefly Learning and Gousto.
In an interview to news site TechCrunch, Tan White said, “We are scouring the UK for the brightest, boldest entrepreneurs with global ambitions, to help create the iconic, industry-changing companies of the future.” She added, “We invest £1M – £6M in early-stage UK technology companies that we believe have the potential to be global successes. What excites us is not the size of your company today, but the potential tomorrow.”
When asked about the gaps in funding, she said, “US proliferation of seed funds and micro VC from 2011 onwards fuelled volume of startups with seed funding and gave them a lifeline but at some point all these companies need to be funded again at series A to scale, typically these companies use seed funding for finding product market fit, revenue is not the priority, they will use any revenue to grow or innovate rather than generate profits so need to go for venture again to scale.” White said, “Volume of A funds has not grown at the necessary rate to fund the increase in seed funded companies. Also series A investors remain discerning, it’s become cheap and easy to get seed funding which is great for experimentation but series A and B investors only want the best as they are deploying larger chunks of capital.”