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23 June, 2018 - 14:42 By Kate Sweeney

Invested Investor – Gonçalo de Vasconcelos

In this article, Invested Investor is delighted to be interviewing Gonçalo de Vasconcelos who is the CEO and co-founder of multi-award winning online investment platform SyndicateRoom and who was considered one of the Top 10 most influential people in tech in the UK at the Tyto Tech 500 Power List, as well as one of the Top 40 most influential people in FinTech in Europe.

Gonçalo pioneered the investor-led™ model in the UK, opening up access to exclusive deals that professionals are investing in. 

His leadership of SyndicateRoom is driven by his vision for fair and transparent access to investments by all investors – big and small, institutional and private investors. 

Why/How did you become an investor?
I became an investor by virtue of having founded SyndicateRoom and indirectly (accidentally?) becoming one of the most influential and active investors in the space in just four years.

What do you invest in and at what stage? 
SyndicateRoom is sector agnostic but we tend to fare extraordinarily well in IP-based sectors such as life sciences, engineering, tech, deep tech and other complex sectors. 

How do you characterise success? 
Being involved with the excitement of helping entrepreneurs building great businesses that give great returns to investors. Everybody is happy then.
Please give top three factors that influence your decision to invest.

  1. Team
  2. Structure of the round – I see some overly complicated round structures with several share classes, different levels of debt, convertible notes and different options plans that make it too complicated to assess the risk and reward balance.
  3. Valuation – there are some truly astonishing valuations out there.

How do you view your relationship with your investees? What is a good relationship?
Open and transparent. I keep reminding them how important it is to keep shareholders informed. Failing to report on a regular basis is more than half way to failing to do a follow-on round. 
I’ve seen good businesses collapsing due to lack of support on follow-on rounds due to not reporting to shareholders on a regular basis. New investors coming to the round do consider how much follow-on investment interest there is as a sign of quality, and we see over and over again entrepreneurs that master the art of reporting regularly being able to raise follow-on rounds even when the business is not hitting the targets.

How do you maintain a work/life balance?
By having some tricks I shared on my latest article on Forbes “Tricks & Hacks For Entrepreneurs: 3 Simple Steps To Cut Your Working Time In Half”. 

If you could offer an early investor one piece of business advice, what would it be?
Remind yourself that it’s a long term investment – success stories that become unicorns ‘overnight’ exist but are the exception. It takes time to build a great business.

For more information, listen to the podcast interview between Gonçalo and Peter Cowley, serial entrepreneur and Chairman of Cambridge Angels on https://www.investedinvestor.com 

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