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People Behind the Product: Scott Weavers-Wright, Haatch Ventures

What is the most rewarding aspect of your role?

Meeting similar folks to me. It’s exciting to discover people who share the same values of hard work and vision matched with the magic of passion. I also love to invest into digital solutions and technology that helps shape industries.

I’m just attracted to people who are disrupting industries and who drive change and deliver their vision – rather than talk about it!

What is the most challenging aspect of your role?

Not having enough money under management to lead larger investment rounds into the existing portfolio. The current portfolio is tracking at 5.6x (unrealised) against a target of 10x and I get upset when larger funds jump in and buy into Series A rounds at the expense of Haatch which has nurtured the business.

We should lead all our Series A round and ultimately hold 20% + when they exit – this is what our investors should be demanding and financially backing.

Remember I’ve achieved 23.5x when Kiddicare.com was sold to Morrisons for cash and I realised returns of 272x when I sold Elevaate to Quotient Inc.

“Failure is an event not a person – if I can succeed anyone can? Help me by backing the next generation of entrepreneurs built in the UK for the UK.”

What makes your firm stand out?

As a team we have achieved business exits north of $200m in our previous lives and now as a fund we are targeting an industry leading 10x for the portfolio which 5.6x already achieved.

We also hold 22% of the fund personally and there is no point investing into businesses which cannot return 10x or more. Our strategy is simple: we invest into multiple founder businesses in verticals in which we are very strong both commercially and technically. We also insist on a board sit to help shape the business and know when to exit.

What are investors saying about your firm?

The feedback to this point has been great. Established in 2013 we have made a strong start. However incorporating the business into Haatch Ventures LLP in 2018 and becoming a fully authorised fund in 2020 has taken the fund onto a new level.

Investors like our non-nonsense approach, our decision to take board sets on every investment and our ability to speak plain English and ask the tough questions.

What’s one thing you’d like to change about the sector?

If I put my disruptive hat on, I would like the government to match all our investments or to provide alternative finance as standard. The UK is heading into uncertain territory; businesses who adopt a digital strategy will be the winners – obviously.

In addition to portfolio investments; over the past 7 years, we have invested £2m into the Haatch group of companies to enable investments and I believe the British Business Bank / Government funds should recognise mature funds which are fully authorised and automatically enrol funds like Haatch into schemes so we support businesses today not next year!

I would also add it’s entrepreneurs who will create wealth, jobs and opportunity and like us, they need backing.

What recent investment opportunity has caught your eye and why?

It’s always impossible to talk about any investment over another made previously; what I can admit to:

The variety is amazing – initially our investments were based around retail as this was my unique area but by expanding the partners at Haatch, we have opened areas of expertise within the group towards cloud computing, e-commence tools, AR, video on demand, on-demand delivery and social.

We specialise in the technology that underpins your everyday experience.

What’s the best piece of advice you have taken?

When things don’t work, just pivot and change course – learn to fail quickly. It’s inevitable to lose sometimes – just don’t make a habit of it.

What character trait helps you succeed in your role?

I’m restless for progress but not at the expense of the customer experience. I believe in keeping it simple as “simple scales”.

I’m also not afraid to show emotion by venting my frustrations and I’m happy to fight in the trenches to build a business correctly from the foundations up.

I’m in the detail.

Scott Weavers-Wright – Founder and CEO, Haatch

Scott is a restless digital entrepreneur with two exists north of $150m in the last 10 years. Reaching 6th on the Retail Week Power List for 4 years running, Scott is regarded by many as one of the UK’s most innovative technology professionals and digital investors.

Scott is best-known for founding one of Britain’s largest e-commerce businesses Kiddicare.com which was subsequently acquired in cash for £70m, by Morrisons, one of the UK’s largest supermarkets.

Now through Haatch, he is celebrating 30 years in business after starting his first business in 1990 at the age of 18. He is a Patron of the Princes Trust and first member of the Alumni to go full circle and give back to the charity via the Patron programme.

About Haatch Ventures

We look for start ups that can exhibit highly scalable and disruptive models for growth, with our sweet spot being an MVP with some early traction in market requiring investment to scale to Series A.

Alongside much needed cash we also provide something even more important – experienced support, advice and network opportunities to maximise the chances of success.

And who are we? In short we’re a team of hands-on value creators. We have been there. Built scaled companies of our own and sold them.

We use that knowledge, experience and network to accelerate the growth of our portfolio companies, helping those that partner with us to avoid the challenges of early stage growth.

To view more about Haatch Ventures and their opportunities available, sign in to the CoInvestor platform here.

People Behind the Product is an interview series produced by CoInvestor highlighting the key people behind the wide range of tax-efficient investment funds you can find on our platform. By showcasing the fund managers behind the product, we aim to provide greater insight to the expertise in the market and in doing so, help advisers and investors learn more about the tax-efficient sector.

If you are interested in participating in the series, or would like to find out more, get in touch with Jessica at [email protected]

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