by Ali Peerbhoy, Boss Equity Investment Director
In my 15-plus years of working in technology and related services, I have witnessed constant change and evolution. The technology sector never stands still to catch its breath. It always pushes the boundaries of what is possible and creates new solutions for old problems. I would add technology to the two certainties of life: death and taxes. The one thing that we can be sure of is that technology and innovation will continue to expand and thrive in the future.
As part of the Boss Equity team, I have a unique opportunity to observe and experience this pace of change first-hand. We are advising a number of industry leaders who work in traditional sectors that are on the verge of being transformed by technological innovation. They have the foresight to realise that they need to embrace and implement technological advances or risk being left behind.
The journey for most successful tech start-ups requires the key ingredients: product/idea, people with vision, experience and execution skills, funding, hard work and dare I say it some luck. Business requirements change rapidly as a business is seeded and goes through the initial years of development as it establishes and grows. We find that the most successful founders are the ones who recognise this and are able to bring in the right resources and access the right help for the different stages as a business evolves and grows to supplement their own capabilities and more importantly any gaps in the skill sets of their current team.
We regularly read about technology deals where unicorn companies are being created on almost a daily basis. However, this isn't the reality for the vast majority of start-ups. It's great to have unicorn ambitions but there is no substitute for well-planned, funded and executed businesses. Success and the ultimate hope of creating substantial enterprise value are the result of getting into the habit of doing the right things on a regular basis. Below the headline-grabbing stream of new unicorns, there has been an interesting development we have seen evolve in recent years and that is the growing number of tech start-up companies that attain £50m to £100m valuations within a few years of launching.
The UK remains a very attractive place for tech investment. In 2022, the UK attracted £24bn of tech investment. France (£11.8bn) and Germany (£9.1bn) were the next biggest European players. The UK's success is down to several factors, not least the fact that the UK is a centre of excellence for innovation, our pool of talent (we at Boss Equity are inspired by the quality and quantity of innovators we come across regularly) and the support the Government gives to tech start-ups through schemes such as SEIS and EIS.
We have regularly been approached by potential new and serial founders who have great ideas and whose ideas, with the right team, funding and support, are capable of being turned into substantial businesses in a 3-5 year time scale. We are now working with a carefully selected small number of these founders to create the next headline-grabbing business hopefully. If you are a potential founder or would like to know more about the opportunities we are supporting, we'd love to hear from you.