Welcome Emilie and George!
With our first Entrepreneur in Residence (EIR) and a new Associate, we are adding talent coming from Deliveroo, Transferwise & Blablacar
Our people, our culture
The advantage of starting a new venture platform from scratch is that we have lots of flexibility, with no legacy we can experiment and do more of what is working and less of what isn’t. We closed our 2nd fund earlier this year and a recurring question from investors (both existing and new) was about what the hardest thing had been since launching Felix. The answer is simple, it’s finding talent. We will continue to be very ambitious on that front, while retaining our boutique style. Our people are our culture, especially at our size, so we shouldn’t compromise. We launched with an amazing group of Venture Advisors who have proved to be extremely valuable to our platform and to the founders we backed. Then we brought on board Jon Kamaluddin as Operating Partner, one of the most experienced commerce executives in Europe, having scaled ASOS into an online international giant from a very small UK base. Today we are delighted to announce that George Pallis, a long-standing friend has joined us as Entrepreneur in Residence (EIR) following a very successful career including marketing and growth leadership roles at Deliveroo and Transferwise. We are also pleased to add Emilie Spire to the team as new Associate, coming from BlablaCar and Partech.
Welcoming George Pallis, our first EIR, with a focus on Growth
George Pallis joined us earlier this year as Entrepreneur in Residence. He is the first person to join Felix in this capacity and hopefully we will continue this programme over time with people we like and can learn from, while offering them a temporary home.
He joined us from Deliveroo where he led Marketing globally. I first met George 5 years ago, well before starting Felix, when I was spending a lot of time with my wife’s company, a fashion brand that was launching ecommerce. We hired him to lead digital and he quickly overgrew the business, and we encouraged him to join a bigger platform, initially Transferwise. When I met George I instantly liked him: low ego, pragmatic, analytical, keen to learn, creative and entrepreneurial with a can-do attitude, in short just what you need in pretty much any business.
George went on to Transferwise where he was instrumental in their growth and marketing strategy with a focus on performance marketing and virality. He then went to Deliveroo where he worked very closely with Will Shu, one of the top entrepreneurs in London (that we have had the chance to back), where he ended up running marketing globally. At Deliveroo he learned about constant pressure, growing ambitions, doubling down on successes while focusing on data.
At Felix George’s role is already very impactful within our team and portfolio. He gives us feedback on investment opportunities through his operator eye, especially on the consumer side. He mentors founders and has been able to share with them his experience running marketing functions in high-growth, founder-led, venture-backed environments (he has already received several jobs offers from our portfolio companies!). In parallel he is working on his own idea that we may well end up backing as our funds enable us to invest at inception with people we know well.
Overall George is a great example of the new generation of talents that exists in Europe and didn’t before. His main attribute is to bring a culture of growth to our portfolio (Deliveroo grew globally more than 15x during his tenure). Companies like Deliveroo, Transferwise, and also Farfetch, King or Funding Circle, are among the few that have built a culture of fast growth and permanent iteration at scale in London, and their alumni network is now strengthening the whole start-up eco-system.
One more thing… welcome Emilie, our new Associate!
In addition to George, our team expanded further with the arrival of Emilie Spire, who beat the Brexit blues to cross the channel and land in Soho at the Felix HQ last month. As we mentioned before, hiring for our business is hard, very hard. With Emilie we are fortunate to bring on board another female investor who can have a different and complementary pair of eyes to what we have already with Antoine, Sasha, Jon and I. She started in Venture with Partech in Paris and then moved to Blablacar in a corporate development and then operational role.
Emilie will obviously spend time in France but also work very closely with all our team on deal sourcing, through our network and thematic deal search programme. France has emerged as the top market for Felix since launch (followed by the US, and ahead of the UK) so we expect to continue to be very active in this market thanks to our ability to combine both the French and Anglo-Saxon cultures. Get ready to see her often in Paris, but also in many other hubs where we are active across Europe such as London, Berlin, Stockholm or Barcelona, meeting entrepreneurs and collaborating with the local investors and accelerators, where we can bring our thematic digital lifestyle angle and be a good partner.
Welcome Emilie, welcome George, let’s make sure that you meet as many of our friends as possible in the next few weeks.