London, Friday, July 3rd 2020
“The 99”: Launch of Initiative with Leading UK Venture Capital Firms to Assist Early-stage Founders
Events where startups pitch to investors (often known as “Demo Days”) have moved online in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. The Fantastic Beasts platform was launched in May 2020 to aggregate pitches from the founders – potential unicorns and centaurs – presenting at such Demo Day events, globally. The result is a single destination site so that new ventures are more easily discoverable by angel, VC and EIS/Seed EIS investors.
Some of the investors with early access to the platform are here, whilst an early Demo Day event pilot adopter is WeWork Labs.
The platform allows founders to upload their pitch videos, and investors to search the database for opportunities which match their investment mandate or criteria, including location, business model, development stage, sector, SEIS/EIS status, and others. For founders seeking early-stage investment, their pitch video is the catalyst which sparks interest and engagement with potential backers.
Fantastic Beasts is pleased to announce participation with Triple Point, Mountside Ventures, and The EIS Association to launch The 99 Initiative, which recognizes that any single VC will typically decline more than 99% of deals offered to them. Amongst the reasons, the deal does not fulfil the VC’s investment remit or criteria. Consequently, founders have to dedicate much time to reach many investors before they eventually secure funding.
Offering their support for the early-stage ecosystem, the Fantastic investors and professional association participating in The 99 Initiative have committed to help entrepreneurs to quickly and efficiently engage with the widest segment of the funding market by referring founders, if their fund’s investment criteria don’t make for a good fit, to Fantastic Beasts and other venues for matching founders and investors.
Seb Wallace, Investor at Triple Point, one of the cornerstone participants in The 99, comments:
“We strive to be as constructive as possible when receiving investment propositions that aren’t suited to us. The 99 is a promising initiative we can recommend to such founders, widening their opportunity to find the support they need to take their businesses forward. Recently, we have seen some terrific businesses through our early-stage Kick-Start programme, which we are running with The Evening Standard. However, we are aware that not everyone can get funding through our programme, or through venture capital firms more generally. We hope The 99 will give these founders a new, alternative path to finding funding in future.”
Mark Brownridge, Director General of The EIS Association, comments:
“This is a very positive initiative since it should make the process of identifying and researching appropriate investment opportunities more efficient. Clearly it is also helpful for founders who are fundraising since it enables them to reach suitable investors more easily and we are particularly keen to support the national economy with such measures, during this exceptionally difficult time”.
CEO & Co-Founder, Fantastic Beasts, Jiahui Li explains:
“We think of The 99 as a “clearing house” for investment opportunities, where the interests of investors and founders are efficiently aligned and great outcomes can be accelerated for both parties. The best investors always try to give some helpful feedback and guidance to founders, where they aren’t a good fit, and we very much hope that Fantastic Beasts will be a really positive resource for both parties”
Notes to Editors
Events where startups pitch to investors (often known as “Demo Days”) have moved online but the challenge of finding relevant investor audiences remains key to the success of event organisers. The company was founded in London in December 2019 by King’s College London MSc Finance graduate Jiahui Li together with designer Benny Lee and developer Piyawan Tungkumvijit, ahead of entering the King’s College Ideas Factory competition where they reached the final in the House of Lords in February this year. In response to the pandemic, the company pivoted its business model and although dispersed by the lock-down to their respective homes in China, Thailand and Taiwan, launched their revised product in May 2020. The company has been named after the unicorns and centaurs that the founders hope the platform can help to bring to life by allowing investors to easily find and watch the pitch videos from companies that match their investment remit or criteria.
For further information, please contact: Li@fantasticbeasts.tv
Triple Point is a leading early-stage venture capital firm based in London. It has previously backed businesses including LendInvest, Capital on Tap, Quit Genius, Credit Kudos and more.
Mountside Ventures, Jonathan Hollis, Managing Partner
For further information: https://www.mountsideventures.com
The EIS Association, Mark Brownridge, Director General
For further information, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org