The SAATCHiNVEST Playbook

Alex Dunsdon
May 17, 2017 · 3 min read

1. How is SAATCHINVEST structured?

SAATCHiNVEST is a fund vehicle in M&C Saatchi PLC. It is an evergreen fund.

2. When do you invest?

Seed and Series A.

3. How much do you invest?

We typically invest £300k initial capital at seed stage.

4. Do you follow ?

Yes we have allocated c.50 percent to follow on.

5. How do you operate ?

Fast. We make super quick decisions. 20 minute initial meets.

6. Who will I meet ?

Alex Dunsdon or Leo Castellanos in person or Skype for 20 mins, then Jeremy Sinclair and/or David Kershaw for 20 mins (Ha ha – were like the 20 minute Vc Harry Stebbings).

If we continue we do diligence. This timelength is variable BUT we've done deals ‘end to end’ in a week before.

7. Why do you invest in tech businesses?

In truth we back entrepreneurs and tech is the vehicle. ‘Backing founders’ is the DNA of the company and this empathy / structures is reflected in how we operate.

Ps it’s a 👍 business model – M&C Saatchi is a £300m market cap company.

8. Who do you invest alongside

We’ve done tons including Connect, Playfair, Kindred, Index, Balderton, Backd, Frontline.

9. Can you bust some myths for me?

Sure.

Myth 1: “You are a corporate VC”

Not really. Though recognised as the UK’s most active CVC (see image) this is a standalone seed fund with no restrictive mandates. There is zero expectation to be martech or to have any integration into the company ever. That would never work.

“You are an adtech / martech fund?”

Nope. Check out the portfolio. We have done a couple of bits along the way , but that is not what we are.

“You just do b2c”

Nope. B2c AND enterprise (see Ometria, Picasso labs, Gluru, Evrythng, TouchCast. Just need a seductive idea / product.

“You don’t follow on, bro?”

Sure we do. Generally up to Series A when the bigboys take over. No signalling risk here.

“How do you help”

We are real. You can be open and authentic with us. This is a much bigger deal than it may sound.

We have empathy and will care.

We are all operators not financiers. How many people you know have build £300m + businesses?

We know everybody. Especially in the enterprise.

We keep things simple.

10. What are your terms?

Standard Seed Summit terms are the basis of our deals. The right to pre-empt in later rounds is our strongest principle.

11. What is your criteria?

1/ A HUUUGE Pain

We understand human needs above all.

2. With a seductive product / idea

Being great at product is a shortcut that tells so many things; How often you test, how much you care about your users and how little you will need to spend on marketing because people love your product…..

3. Founders that are mission driven humble learning machines

The best founders we know are learning machines that iterate. They are also very rare.

The simplest shortcut to see a fit would be to look at our portfolio. Dojo, Citymapper, Ometria, Tech Will Save Us will give you a good spread.

This is like a 10 year marriage AND we can’t even get divorced.

Some nice to haves

Contrarian outliers

Increasingly it is hard to know what will win at seed, so picking contrarian outliers is more important than ever. Mrs Wordsmith (creating a visual doctionary) and Farewill (reinventing death) are good examples here.

That can think macro and micro

We love it when founders see a world few else see but can execute the day to day micro.’

Who understand brand

Very few in tech understand the intangible power of brands . If you understand this instinctively you will have the most valuable of moats later down the line.

Alex

Alex Dunsdon

Written by

Partner@ SAATCHiNVEST, a VC investing in cults. Cofounder @TheBakery, an innovation co. and launched Linkybrains. I post for the curious who question the world.

Alex Dunsdon

Written by

Partner@ SAATCHiNVEST, a VC investing in cults. Cofounder @TheBakery, an innovation co. and launched Linkybrains. I post for the curious who question the world.

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