Issue 4 2019

36 CORPORATE VISION / Issue 4 2019 , Jan19606 SyndicateRoomis an equity investment platformconnecting ambitious investorswith trailblazing companieswhere all their investors (regardless of size)make or lose the same amount ofmoney, sharing the risk and reward fairly. Following their success inCV’s Corporate Excellence Awards 2019, we’ve profiled the firmand caught upwithCEOGonçalo deVasconcelos, who providedus a detailed insight into the innerworkings of this innovative business. Investing in the Future Since their inception in 2013, SyndicateRoom has helped to raise more than £215m for 170+ companies over 30 sectors, with the input of 150+ lead investors. In 2016, the firm launched the world’s first passive EIS fund – Fund Twenty8 – for the first time offering investors an automatic way to diversify their startup portfolio. Through providing a straightforward and reliable way for individuals to access professional-quality deals on the same economic terms as angels and VCs, they are proud to say that they have changed the UK early-stage investing landscape. Going into further detail, Gonçalo begins by informing us just how SyndicateRoom was formed, highlighting the main goals both himself and co-founder Tom Britton had initially set. “Looking around at the exciting startups being founded throughout the UK, both Tom and I realised that things were hugely unequal for people who wanted to invest some of their hard-earned money in these young businesses. Where big institutional investors were able to get in on the ground floor, regular people were getting locked out. As such, we wanted to build a network through which people could invest in sophisticated startup opportuni- ties from all sectors on the same terms as family offices and VCs. “Thus the investor-led model was born. Basically, it means that on SyndicateRoom, a named pro- fessional leads every deal, doing expert due diligence, investing their own capital and negotiating the terms on behalf of all Syndicate- Room investors, making sure your interests are represented.” Over the years, the team at SyndicateRoom have worked with individual investors, business an- gels, VCs, family offices – all those who are serious about helping the next generation of game-changing startups achieve their potential. “Due to the nature of our busi- ness, investors who wish to invest through SyndicateRoom must sign up to the site and self-certify as high-net-worth or sophisticated in- vestors. This is to confirm they are savvy people who are going to do their own research before investing in a company. “In terms of companies, we select which startups to work with based on quality, rather than sector or stage of development. This is why our investor-led model is so impor- tant: every company that raises with us must have a significant por- tion of its round already committed by a professional investor – normal- ly a business angel or VC – who has already carried out their own due diligence on the company and negotiated the terms of the deal.” It is no secret that young compa- nies must overcome countless obstacles on their way to the top. For SyndicateRoom, one of the main challenges they have faced (and continue to face) is around awareness, as Gonçalo explains. “We’ve carried out a lot of inde- pendent research around the investing ecosystem in the UK. What we’ve found is that while a lot of people want to invest in startups, only a handful know how to do it. That’s why it’s important for us to make the investment process as straightforward and accessible as possible. To this end, we publish regular guides, reports and even an investor magazine to help keep investors informed.” Looking ahead to what the future holds, the team at SyndicateRoom hope to continue providing their ex- ceptional services to clients, help- ing to connect ambitious investors with highly vetted startups. Bringing the interview to a close, Gonçalo signs off by hinting at some exciting plans which lie in the pipeline for Corporate Vision’s Most Outstand- ing Tax Consultancy 2019 – UK. “We do have some big plans for the coming year, though naturally, I can’t go into detail before the offi- cial news comes out. Rest assured that any and all news will be an- nounced in our member newsletter before it hits the headlines!” Company: SyndicateRoom Web Address: