I’m delighted to announce that we recently invested in Lost My Name. I loved this company from the moment I saw their website, and that took a step up when I got my hands on their book. The execution of both is amazing. You can get a feel of it from the picture above, but I urge you to visit their site and get the full experience. And buy a book :-).
After that we met the team and heard them describe what I regularly describe as the best implementation of lean startup principles I have come across. And in a physical product. When founders Asi Sharabi and Tal Oron, described how they had the idea of a personalised adventure book based on a child’s name, tested it with a mock up for a single name (they chose Andrew), validated demand with a simple sign up page, analysed the 14,000 names we’ve given our kids in the last five years to find the minimum combination of letters that would give them 50% coverage of the advanced orders and then built those books manually to further test demand before scaling out we were hooked. And that was before they told us how many books they had sold. Or that their mission is to make millions of kids happy, curious and clever.
When assessing investment opportunities we look for great team, great product, attractive market and momentum. From the paragraphs above you will have gleaned that with Lost My Name the team, product and momentum pieces were easy. However, we had to think longer about the market opportunity. From a top down perspective the idea of investing in personalised products is an exciting meta trend that’s easy to get behind, but to analyse from the bottom up we looked at the potential of Lost My Name’s products. The first book is great, but to achieve a £100m+ exit more will be required and so we looked into their pipeline of future ideas for personalised products for children. Unsurprisingly for an early stage company those plans were a little vague. They were exciting, but the team had rightly chosen to focus on making the first book a success rather than flesh out the detail for their next products. Ultimately their vision is to become a company like Pixar which uses in house technology and expertise to work with third party creatives to bring amazing stories to children. Because the opportunity scored highly on team, product and momentum that was enough for us.
Since then the second and third projects have progressed significantly and I can’t wait to see them launched.