Investment Watch – Bloc Ventures
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In our last Investment Watch, we looked back at some of the big investments that have been influencing the world of Financial Services. This week we’ll be taking a look at London-based venture capital firm, Bloc Ventures, who have just announced their latest equity funding round. With the continued surge of new banks, fintechs, and consultancies, an increase in large investments being made globally is par for the course – good news for recruiters..
This week, we’ll be looking at a company who have started 2020 off on the right foot. The end of January saw Bloc Ventures secure over £20m in their latest funding round, led by Michael Spencer’s investment company IPGL Limited. The round was also supported by a number of other industry leaders including Warren East, Christopher (Jock) Miller, Gavyn Davies, Stuart Roden, and Stephen Catlin, who also serves as a Non-Executive Director on the Bloc Board. As part of the round, Samantha Wren, CEO of IPGL, has also joined as a Non-Executive Director.
So let’s take a closer look at who Bloc Ventures are, what they’ve been up to recently, and what exactly that might mean for recruiters looking to get an early foot in the door with future opportunities:
Who are Bloc Ventures
London-based Bloc Ventures, a relatively young company, having only been formed in 2013, are well on the way to making huge strides in the venture-capital world. Their name, Bloc, perfectly reflects the ideology of their firm being a unified team with a common goal – in this case, investing in, and helping to scale deep tech companies to support and develop the next generation of early-stage technology businesses across Europe.
Founded by technology industry veterans, CEO Bruce Beckloff and CTO David Leftley, and Chairman Paul Roy, with the aim of filling the gap in Europe for expert-led funding of early-stage deep technology companies, they provide a complementary mix of technical, commercial, and financial expertise borne out of extensive careers. This experience is put to use post-investment too, ensuring their beneficiaries benefit from their expertise as they sit on the Boards of their portfolio companies and provide follow-up guidance and advice for optimisation and scaling.
The team has already built a portfolio of nine companies and will use the new funds for further portfolio additions and follow-on investments in line with Bloc’s strategy to create companies of global scale with enduring value in the European deep technology market. Generally speaking, Bloc invests in companies operating in the big four categories shaping the future of technology: Big Data; Cloud; Connectivity; and Security. Right now, the world of finance is all about technology overhauls and digital diversification, so any recruiter looking to make strong relationships with up and coming firms might want to pay attention.
Bloc Ventures looks to build on 2019 success
For a small and fairly young outfit, Bloc Ventures had a pretty impressive 2019, investing as the lead investor in four companies: Yordex, YellowDog, Pharrowtech, and Crypta Labs.
Yordex, a London-based fintech firm and spend management platform focussed on helping fast-growing businesses improve their spend control, was founded in 2017 by former Worldpay executives. Targeting businesses with a turnover of £1m to £100m, Yordex have developed a finance portal with features including budget management, invoice central, and cash management for spend control. Their recent investment from Bloc Ventures saw the firm receive £500,000 in their Seed round to help them develop their finance software. The investment is also earmarked for building their sales and marketing teams as they focus on maintaining their growth trajectory.
For Bloc Ventures, this is good news too. Having outgrown other SaaS finance software solutions, their investment in, and partnership with, Yordex will allow them to stay agile as they grow, while still reaping the benefits of superior software solutions. It’s this mentality, and a focus on future growth, that ties Bloc and their beneficiaries together. They may be small, but they’re going places, and so is the rostra in their portfolio.
Talent Ticker recommends you pay close attention to upcoming news on Bloc’s next round of investments – with a proven record, hiring is sure to follow.
Interested in Bloc Ventures? Cast a wider net and see what else we’ve published on some of their competitors’ beneficiaries.
Notion Capital’s portfolio company, Currencycloud, have had a busy year and are currently hiring in Cardiff, London, Amsterdam, and New York.
Another Notion Capital beneficiary, GoCardless, are currently hiring for a number of roles in their London, San Francisco, and Melbourne/Sydney locations. Here are some of our recent leads for GoCardless:
Balderton Capital’ portfolio company, Nutmeg, have experienced a few ups and downs of late, but as a potential talent pool they could be of interest. Or, take a look at their current hiring as they look to fill vacancies in London.
Interested in more startup news? Take a look at our in-depth analysis into the top 40 small startups all recruiters should know.
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