We caught up with Cristina Fonseca (Co-founder Talkdesk ($1bn private valuation) and Venture Partner at Indico Capital Partners), Paul Forster (Co-founder & former CEO Indeed.com — $1bn acquisition by Recruit), and Fabrice Grinda (Co-founder & Co-CEO OLX (acquired by Naspers), Zingy (exited for $80m), and Founding Partner at FJLabs).

Video recording available here

Here are our key takeaways.

  1. Lessons learnt from the early days: pick the right market, stay lean, and work hard

Before building Talkdesk, Cristina founded three businesses that never took off: the first one was a platform to help students prepare for exams. While the market was…


Last week, we caught up with Kevin Ryan: Co-founder of MongoDB ($9.2bn market cap), Business Insider ($450m acquisition to Axel Springer in 2015), Zola ($140m in venture funding to-date), Nomad Health ($50m in venture funding to-date), Gilt Group ($250m acquisition by Hudson’s Bay Company in 2016), Alleycorp (NYC-based incubator and investment fund) & former President & CEO of DoubleClick ($3.1bn acquisition by Google).

Video recording available here

Here are our key takeaways.

  1. Before starting a business, find the missing gap in the market

Having founded six very successful businesses, Kevin knows a thing or two about building a new company…


Last week, we caught up with Kevin Ryan: Co-founder of MongoDB ($9.2bn market cap), Business Insider ($450m acquisition to Axel Springer in 2015), Zola ($140m in venture funding to-date), Nomad Health ($50m in venture funding to-date), Gilt Group ($250m acquisition by Hudson’s Bay Company in 2016), Alleycorp (NYC-based incubator and investment fund) & former President & CEO of DoubleClick ($3.1bn acquisition by Google).

Video recording available here

Here are our key takeaways.

  1. Before starting a business, find the missing gap in the market

Having founded six very successful businesses, Kevin knows a thing or two about building a new company…


We caught up with Cristina Fonseca (Co-founder Talkdesk ($1bn private valuation) and Venture Partner at Indico Capital Partners), Paul Forster (Co-founder & former CEO Indeed.com — $1bn acquisition by Recruit), and Fabrice Grinda (Co-founder & Co-CEO OLX (acquired by Naspers), Zingy (exited for $80m), and Founding Partner at FJLabs).

Video recording available here

Here are our key takeaways.

  1. Lessons learnt from the early days: pick the right market, stay lean, and work hard

Before building Talkdesk, Cristina founded three businesses that never took off: the first one was a platform to help students prepare for exams. While the market was…


Why we invested in Oto Systems — the voice recognition software that helps you understand intonation

While a lot of work has been done around speech recognition with Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri, and Google’s Assistant leading the way, we have seen little research in voice intonation classification, which could reveal 5 times more information.

This is where Oto Systems comes in. Aiming to disrupt the $49 billion voice market, Oto raised a $3m million seed round in August 2019 (and a total of $5.2m to date), which we led alongside Fusion Fund, Bleu Capital, SAP.iO, and SRI International.

What Oto does

Oto Systems provides software to call centre agents who want to monitor their phone conversations…


My 2019 (Sustainable) Foodtech Overview

As climate impact of agriculture and food production comes under the spotlight — with global food production accounting for 25–30% of emissions from 2007 to 2016 (IPCC report) — in 2019 we have seen an explosion of foodtech start-ups tackling the problem across the global chain.

From synthetic biology and alternative proteins, to robotics, agTech & AI, urban farming, and traceability/sustainability platforms, technology is playing an increasing and critical role in our food production, packaging, delivery and recycling.

As a foodtech investor at firstminute Capital, I’m excited and optimistic by all these opportunities as they will help deliver on the…


Dark Kitchens 2.0 — Humans vs Robots

The first deal I ever championed at firstminute was Mission Food, now called Taster, a dark kitchen start-up founded by Anton Soulier, former Head of Deliveroo France. We ended up not doing the deal because, at the time, we felt it was more a real estate play than a tech play. Two years later, Anton has proved us wrong: he has raised $13m to date from Tier 1 VCs and has delivered more than 400,000 meals across 11 kitchens by using best-in-class technology.

Today, I’m still bullish on dark kitchens, and I’m particularly excited about automated dark kitchens.

Why Dark…


I am thrilled to announce firstminute Capital’s investment in Agile Analog’s $5m round which we co-led with Delin Capital alongside MMC Ventures.

Agile Analog is revolutionising the way modern digital technologies like AI, ML and Crypto talk to the real world by building a new approach to the development of analog components in silicon chips.

The Agile Analog team in Cambridge

It is a fact of life that the digital world has to ultimately interface with the real world, and the real world is analog. As such, most chips and Systems-on-Chip (SoCs) have to incorporate analog elements. …


I’m thrilled to announce firstminute’s investment in Kukua, the first pan-African education media franchise. The $2.5m seed round was led by Echo VC, the leading Africa-focused venture capital firm, alongside Founders Factory, Kima Ventures, Burda Media, as well as a strong group of angels including Lars Fjeldsoe-Nielsen (Former VP of mobile at Uber and Dropbox).

Building the biggest education franchise in the world

Kukua is building a pan-African education franchise to address child illiteracy, one of the most pressing issues in the continent. …


At firstminute, we’re thrilled to announce our investment in Futrli as part of a £4m round alongside our friends from e.ventures and Notion Capital.

Futrli provides an all-in-one cloud-based accounting and forecasting platform for small businesses, and the accounting firms that support them. The founder Hannah Dawson’s empathy for her users stems from the forecasting and accounting pains she experienced running her first business. Realising she wasn’t alone in the need to be able to make decisions in real time and to be able to see where your business is going, she drew on these experiences to revolutionize the way…

Camilla Mazzolini

Investor at firstminute Capital

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