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Making it easier to buy stuff online will drive growth

Kieran O’Neill, founder of our portfolio company Thread likes to quote Paul Graham saying ‘if you make something easier for people to do, they will do more of it’. At Thread Kieran is making it easier to buy fashion and as a result the majority of his customers report that they spend more on clothes after [...]

How 20 customer interviews enriched Lexoo’s strategy

We recently invested in Lexoo, a marketplace connecting SMEs with legal services. We were attracted to the opportunity because there are an increasing number of freelance lawyers who are doing equivalent quality work for startups at 20-30% of the cost of working with a big law firm. The founder, Daniel van Binsbergen, is an impressive [...]

I’m a stock picker

There’s a lot of people now who think that the only way to make money in venture is to have an investment in one or more stand-out successes with exit values of $1bn+, the so called ‘Unicorns‘. The thinking goes that for early stage investors it’s all but impossible to tell which those companies are likely to be, [...]

Scaling user growth: don’t bank on partnerships

Andrew Chen has a great post up detailing the ways to scale user growth. He lists the four (paid, viral, SEO, sales – for B2B) and then ‘other’ in which he says:

There’s the odd partnership, like Yahoo/Google, that can help make or break a startup – but these are rare and situational. But [...]

Warning for smart people – beware invalid rationalisations

A decade ago I worked in the venture capital team at Reuters, a company then famous for only hiring smart people, and I saw first hand the dangers of only working with clever people. The smart folk at Reuters would embark on projects that they thought were in the company’s best interests and make strong [...]

Labelling Forward Partners as an ‘Ecommerce investment studio’

One of the exciting things about Forward Partners is that we’re blazing a trail in the investment world. Our model of backing entrepreneurs and then also investing heavily in a team and co-working space to support them is new. I like that about us. Our bet is that the investment in support will pay [...]

More on understanding your customers: 3 keys to virality

These three conditions for creating virality were listed on Founders Notebook a month or two back:

The most powerfully growing products do three things at once:1.They make you look smart to the people you invite.2. They give real value to you when the people you invite join.3. They give real value to the people you’ve invited once [...]

Barkbox’s path to 100m revenue: understanding and respecting the customer

Henrik Werdelin, co-founder of Barkbox a subscription ecommerce service for dog owners wrote a great post on Medium detailing The 6 counterintuitive ways Barkbox grew to a 100m business. It’s a great read combining high level thoughts about approach (be the place to hang even if users aren’t buying) with tactical specifics (be very active on [...]

Investing in Lost My Name, making millions of kids happy, curious and clever

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, [...]

Welcoming Matt Buckland to Forward Partners – our new Head of Talent

I’m very pleased to let you know that Matt joined us this week as Head of Talent. We like to think of ourselves as a catalyst for startup success and a key part of that is helping our portfolio companies build out great teams. That means helping them find great people – from co-founders [...]