Backing WeGift (& how the sausage gets made in a VC workshop)

Meet Aron.

Aron Alexander started a marketplace for eVouchers, of which there are probably hundreds, and gradually discovered the mess of an infrastructure that the industry ran on. Growing up in North London, dissatisfied with his school, he did a stint in the Israeli armed forces in an elite unit, taught himself A levels and managed to get himself into Cambridge as an older student which he finished with a first, but never feeling like he belonged. Driven and thoughtful like only someone who’s been through a lot could be, Aron is special. Our kind of guy.

Anatomy of a venture deal.

I got off the call with Aron buzzing. That weekend was complicated for me, as I had my kids over and was flying to the UAE on Sunday night. Ah, the joys of fundraising. In the end, I made an exception, and invited Aron over to my house Saturday morning to meet with Harry and me.

What were you thinking?

If I tell you we invested in a gift cards company, you’d probably roll your eyes. I get that.

  • We’re attacking a large category which you can broadly define as non-cash payouts.
  • Non-cash payouts are everywhere — as an important part of employee compensation, as rewards for customers, as incentives, as retention tools, as gifts, as payout methods for insurance companies on claims etc.
  • The key incumbent is massive, powerful, but disliked by its partners and customers and lumbered with legacy tech. A giant with feet of clay.
  • The business model is well understood. Think Stripe, applied to non-cash payouts. Robust APIs, real-time capabilities, disruptive pricing, transparency. Hard to compete against.
  • The extensions to the core are also easy to grasp, directly derived from the world of online advertising. A playbook of upsells: campaign management tools, targeting and personalisation, new formats etc.

£4M in funding for WeGift

Conclusion: we are excited to lead WeGift’s new £4M funding round, to which we added our friends at Unilever Ventures and SAP Ventures, as well as some great founders such as James Hind at Carwow and Eamon Jubbawy at Onfido.

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Fred Destin

Fred Destin

Helping startups grow with money and mentoring to the sounds of Crystal Castles