Floww Raises £5 million Seed Round to Democratise Access for Founders to Venture Capital
Wanting to level the playing field for entrepreneurs, Floww, based out of London, has raised a seed round of £5 million. Solving the problem of how founders are able to secure VC funding, without being part of the established network, Floww created a software giving startups the ability to engage with VCs based on merit, rather than network and connections. Traditionally founders are advised that they need a “warm introduction” to a VC in order to line up a meeting and pitch for investment. Meaning, many founders without the prerequisite social and professional network, find themselves unable to get on the radar of the people who hold the money. It’s often seen as an archaic system that favours the old boys club, and who you know, and in many cases bias.
Martijn de Wever, CEO of Floww knew firsthand the difficulties for some founders to raise capital to grow their technology businesses. As a long term angel investor and Founding Partner and CEO of London based VC firm, Force Over Mass, de Wever sought to make data king, when making investment decisions. Which sounds obvious, but is something the startup ecosystem has largely overlooked.
Bias, dirty data and disparate systems lead to poor deal flow decisions and uninformed investors. This creates an information gap between VC’s, entrepreneurs and investors and an environment that favours founders that investors find familiar.
With over 160 portfolio investments in startups including What3Words, SeenIt, TheDots, and Huckletree, De Wever recognises that data is the deciding factor in making both initial investments and follow on rounds. He designed and built Floww with a team of 28, to visually represent startup performance, providing merit based deal flow.
The platform ensures Founders can easily drag and drop their data and investor docs, to then be evaluated on metrics such as their teams’ ethnic and gender diversity, milestones hit, and market traction.
Startups are given a suite of tools and materials to get started, from cap table templates to “How To” guides. When Founders upload their documents, Floww’s team of accountants then cross-checks the data for errors and processes key performance metrics. A startup’s digital profile includes dynamic charts and tables, allowing prospective investors to see the company’s business potential.
De Wever and his team are dedicated to redesigning venture capital as a system, ensuring equal access for all to investment, and giving Founders on Floww opportunity based on merit. Investors include Ramon Mendes De Leon, Duncan Simpson-Craib, Angus Davidson, Stephane Delacote and Pip Baker (Google’s head of Fintech U.K.) and multiple family offices.
“VC’s tend to be small companies and are suffering from an overload of start-ups trying to be in their line of sight. Start-ups on the other hand, are similarly overextended in their overzealous effort to make the improbable possible. For us to take pressure off of both parties, Floww starts by helping the VC analyse companies at scale, and based on merit.”