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Seed fundraising is a thing all its own. You’ll be sick of us talking about it by now, so we’re going to do something a bit different in HNM than we did in MadHATTERs (or Irene did on her blog), but it’s worth recalling that in the three months prior to this one we spoke halfway confidently about the changes in company positioning (and deep existential self-awareness) that lead up to closing this investment, and none of that really illustrates what happened right at the close. At the close, a balance was tipped.
There is now a small, powerful team of people — all told from about 20–50 organisations (customers, investors, partner Universities, and non-profits) — who are together knowledgeable enough to make a difference, and now committed enough to changing the g-d world with us, that we can take a real run at things. Our job from here is simply to change everything — change it from its largely-corporate-held personal data infrastructure to the more scalable, efficient, representative, and responsible largely-individual-held one we can see using HAT personal data accounts.
We’ll introduce you to some of this small, powerful team below, and I’ll also illustrate what changes Seed to Series A as we start to gaze into the future. The first thing is that time speeds up — so I hope you’re not prone to motion sickness. On this team are deep technology specialists, both on the corporate funding side and the research side, and they are all (like us) cautious believers in a model that can actually work for doing this thing. All of these people were at one point skeptical, and all are currently sympathetic to the upcoming work required. But most of all they are all also now teammates, and we are lucky to have them. On this team are also the economists-as-funders, economists as team mates, seeing the analogy of our tech with Google’s search engine tech, and our economic model as Google’s ad model that made them the behemoth they are today. Except, of course, we have learnt of the invisible hands that could possibly make us evil one day, and we start properly by mission-locking the company with a purpose and giving HAT owners everywhere representation through our guardianship shareholder, the HAT Community Foundation.
So here we are. As with the other of our meaningful monthly milestones to date, this one is a tacit invitation to get on board if you’ve been waiting for the right moment. That goes equally for those looking at becoming a customer, team member, or partner organisation, and I’d encourage you to get in touch if you are of such a mind (as I mentioned, time is about to speed up). And if you haven’t had a chance yet to sit down with Irene, or myself, or Gus, or Xiao, or Paul, or Andrius, or anyone on the team and have a coffee about what’s going on, don’t be a stranger.
We ain’t going away anytime soon.
Yours in HAT,
THIS MONTH’S MAIN STORY
Introducing IQ Capital
“Good friends are good to have.”
14 September. Earlier this month the final signatures were penned to a funding agreement between IQ Capital, (the newly-renamed) Dataswift, and three other (smaller) investors. IQ is one of the leading Cambridge VCs, investing in deep tech (read: out-of-university, often “professorial”) inventions, and they recently made local headlines with some successful fundraising of their own.
IQ is led by a trio of fund Partners, Kerry Baldwin, Ed Stacey, and Max Bautin, each of whom took their time to properly get to know us over the past couple of months, beginning at the HAT Digital Person Symposium hosted at Wolfson College back in the Spring and continuing through the Summer. Quickly, our principals there became Daniel Carew and Marek Chalupnik, both of whom have been exceptional leads. With their guidance, navigating the legals of closing the round and bringing on board our additional supporters has been comfortable and we feel very well-positioned to take on our coming challenges with their assistance.
If you are reading this as an early stage founder, especially one pulling a research project out of research, or deep within the Cambridge network, ask us about these guys. They’re good people to know.
STILL MANY FRIENDS
Of course IQ didn’t do all of this alone, we are lucky to have a number of visionary tech investors on our team now and we’re grateful to each of them. Pacific and Orient Properties Ltd. is a strategic investor (insurance) joining this round, and Alphanumeric is a family office joining us from the US and Middle East. Welcome everyone.
We’ve been talking to a couple of new customer leads as we come round this particular cape, each of them the platonic ideal of a new target customer of ours — read on below about that. Here let us give a warm welcome to Tytonical and their 70,000+ parking customers in Europe and to TrueLayer and their dozens of enterprise finserv and banking API customers around the world. Do read the warm wishes from our existing business partners.
THE FUTURE IS THE PAST
We’ve worked hard over the past few months to add clarity to the Dataswift business, and as we did it has become clear that we ought to focus on a very specific type of target customer (focus brings success in startups — you heard it here first). Some apps/websites are so obvious or important that they should have existed years ago. We find there are a good number of these that just couldn’t, either because the data they needed was too sensitive, or the regulations around getting it too stringent. We serve these customers — they need our technology, and we (all) need them to exist.
As with every monthly (lately, it seems) there’s been a sprint. I won’t bore you with the gory details of how delicious the shrimp tasted or how entertaining our attempts at a team photo were.
A huge warm welcome to Vini Roratto Carvalho, whose name is as impressive as the impact he’s made on the team in just a few short weeks. Vini’s joining the Growth and Marketing team as a new associate, keeping his bosses in line and making data look good while he’s doing it.
Another, this time to Michael Braithwaite who when he isn’t coaching Canada’s next Olympic rowers is another part of the (very rapidly growing) Growth and Marketing and Business Development teams. Michael is onboard less than two weeks and is already indispensable. Thanks, man.
This time on the product team. Harps Kaur is the new Head of Product and has been long-anticipated. Very exciting to be working with her and we can’t wait to shake things up together.
Congrats to Product and Engineering for shipping version 1 developers.dataswift.io. Developers building their apps and websites on the HAT can now (in selected product lines) signup entirely online, including all the way to app registration (big ups), and Version 1.1 is following rapidly on its heels.
Dozens of supportive, kindly startup network folks made our raise possible and we want to say a huge please-go-support-these-people to you about each of them. Very warm thanks to Trov, Datch, Good-Loop, Feral Horses, ADV, Hazy, Cambridge Angels, Cambridge Enterprise, Delin Ventures, MaRS, and dozens more. Couldn’t have done it without you.
That’s it for HAT News for the next 30 days. HAT News Monthly is published at the end the month and features a collection of highlights from the HAT ecosystem. You can get this delivered to your inbox every month instead if you subscribe to our emails, and if you’re a developer or a startup founder or you work in technology, you can read more about building on the HAT on the HAT Blog. To learn more about the Hub of All Things visit us online at www.hubofallthings.com.