We call it Active Operational Investment. Essentially, it combines a substantial cash sum - that is far greater than your typical seed fund – with a tailored package of support, designed to fast track performance against key milestones along a route to secure next stage funding. This early stage investment model is based on partnership – meaning that we succeed in pursuit of our investment goals when our portfolio companies succeed in achieving their goals to grow and scale their businesses. It’s a three-stage process that enables us to 1. Find, 2. Nurture and 3. Scale our portfolio companies’ businesses, typically along a 12-month timeline. Our goal is to move you forward to the next natural step in funding.
What makes Breed Reply different from other IoT investors in the marketplace is the amount of structure, expertise and resources we bring to bear at every stage. Working with Breed Reply delivers an entirely different level of investor involvement – and it’s exactly this kind of support helps to drive results for our start-ups.
The Three Stages of the Active Operational Investment
FIND – We scour the UK and Europe to connect with the very best and most promising IoT start-ups. Breed Reply is part of the Reply Network, which includes more than 120 successful technology companies, spanning everything from Big Data and Cloud Computing to Digital Media and IoT and supporting diverse industry sectors including Telco & Media, Manufacturing & Industry, Banking & Insurance and the Public Sector. It means that we’re very close to the market and extremely well positioned to spot rising stars and evaluate their potential. Our application process is straightforward, you can see it here. But we’re looking for the very best IoT start-ups. Our Investment Managers are hunting for companies that are led by serious entrepreneurs – people who combine passion and innovation with business savvy. We look for IoT start-ups that have done their homework in sizing their markets and understanding their customers – and so have clear USPs for their product or service. But above that, we want companies with the beginnings of strong teams who are addressing a genuine and persistent problem in their market. AND we want companies where the Intellectual Property actually holds water. If we can see that these key components are in place – we can move forward with confidence that success is both achievable and sustainable.
NURTURE – We shortlist from applications and then things move along at a real pace. In an industry as dynamic as the Internet of Things, every minute matters, so our chosen companies aren’t kept waiting for very long at all. The investment will come in a matter of weeks – which is when the real work starts. Our Active Operational Investment Model is designed to avoid the pitfalls associated with a DIY approach to start-up. We work with our portfolio companies to plan their 12m journey. We make an honest appraisal of their strengths and weaknesses – and then we set about filling the gaps, to shore up the core team with access to experts in whatever areas are required. The team at Breed Reply comprises seasoned strategists, finance people, technology experts and marketing gurus with experience in scaling IoT start-ups – all are hands-on and dedicated to moving our Venture Partners towards their goals with as few obstacles or blockers as possible. Because every start-up is different, there is no one-size fits all approach. But all of our people have been on this journey many times before – so you really do have the ‘A’ Team on your side.
SCALE – The Active Operational Investment model lends frameworks and structure along the path to growth. We implement a robust and regular board for all of our Venture Partner companies. We agree on targets and Key Performance Indicators – so we are aligned to support progress. Towards the end of the programme, the Reply Network comes into its own once again – we have a vast network of businesses to help facilitate introductions – whether it is to production partners, key customer accounts, or interested investors. Our connections are maximised for our investee’s benefit.
In the 4 years since the launch of our fund and with some 20 years of Reply experience behind us, we’ve successfully invested in over 20 IoT companies. In 2017, six of our portfolio companies went on to secure a total of over $50M of Series A funding – a testament to the success of our Model. They span a broad range of sectors and include Callsign (Cyber Security); Cocoon (Smart Home); enModus (Smart Building); Senseye (Industrial); WePredict (Big Data) and Zeetta Networks (Platforms).
So, if your Internet of Things company is ready to put your plans for growth on the fast-track, our Investment Managers would be delighted to hear from you. You can begin the investment process by