What makes a great tech investor?
It’s a question which Simon Calver will have asked himself a number of times over the course of his career, no more so than today.
The former CEO of Lovefilm will have dealt with a multitude of investors as he led the business towards the acquisition by Amazon.
And, as of September, Calver, who was also CEO of Mothercare, will be running an investment fund for the first time.
Together with Harry Briggs and Rory Stirling, two prominent UK tech investors, Calver has been entrusted with a £200m fund by the British Growth fund.
The fund will look to invest between £500,000 and £5 million in early stage tech businesses, with a hope to find the next British unicorn.
After moderating a panel focused on funding at Hot Topics London, we quizzed Calver to find out what makes a great tech investor.
“You want someone on the right side of the table as you, rather than the opposite one.”
Sounds a simple statement to make but Calver is quick to elaborate.
“It can’t be a turn up, show me the financials and walk away again. It should be, help me understand my business issues, help me understand what problems we’re trying to solve.”
As Calver points out, being a founder or a CEO of a tech startup can feel like a lonely place and the investor needs to be a base of support.
“Having someone that you think is on your side whilst you work through those challenges is great.”
It is this supportive nature that Calver hopes to bring into his role as an investor as he follows in the footsteps of some of his role model investors.
To hear more of Calver’s views on what makes a great tech investor, view the video above.