Banking veteran Kevin Mountford has one piece of advice for anyone looking to raise investment.
“It’s not just about getting cash in,” he says. “It’s about getting cash in from the right people.”
Mountford says founders who raise money without doing proper due diligence could be risking their future growth prospects.
The entrepreneur has seen it from both sides of the table since launching consultancy and marketing business Plan B Funding in January 2012 while he was the head of banking at MoneySuperMarket.com.
The start-up specialised in assisting banks to raise retail deposits in the UK and wider European markets.
“We got funding from a mixed bag of angel investors and that became a problem over time,” he recalls. “Some of them had their own agenda.”
Mountford says he was only able to fix the problem once he realised what it was.
“We had around £250,000 in funding from the North West Digital Agency and it gave me the opportunity to bring in an external company and have a look under the bonnet to take an overview of us,” he told TechBlast’s latest Going 4 Growth roundtable.
“That enabled me to restructure the board and we said goodbye to some of the original investors.”
Mountford said his next investment raise took him to London.
“We thought we wanted a couple of million and the response was ‘that’s fine but what can you do with £5m?’” he says.
“At the time we were looking to pivot the business away from being too transactional to an asset under management model.”
The game-changing moment for his business was a chance meeting with German-based Raisin GmbH.
“I had one eye on an exit and I was chairing a conference in London when I had a coffee with one of the founders of Raisin and he said they might be interested in acquiring us,” he says. “That was in December 2016 and nine months later we did the deal.”
He became the co-founder of Manchester-based FinTech Raisin UK, which now employs 40 people and the business has brokered in excess of £2.5bn deposits.
“We recently did a restructure and have got four directors in the UK, two based in Berlin and two based in the UK,” he says.
“I took on more of an ambassadorial role, which enabled me to look at other things. This coupled with the flexibility from Raisin enabled me to take on three NED roles.”