" class="no-js "lang="en-US"> Outward VC - The Early-Stage VC Firm Backing Tomorrow’s Most Important Fintech Companies - Fintech Finance
Saturday, May 25, 2024

Outward VC – The Early-Stage VC Firm Backing Tomorrow’s Most Important Fintech Companies

Outward VC (www.outwardvc.com) is a London-based venture capital (VC) firm bridging the gap between Seed and Series A investment for British and European fintech startups.

Outward Fund I: A Proven Investment Strategy

Outward’s $59M Fund I – which has more than doubled in value since 2018, during which time it has backed 17 companies – has cemented Outward’s leading position in the UK fintech ecosystem for startups post-seed and pre-Series A.

Outward’s investment strategy, which in just two years has enabled companies to raise over $454M in follow-on funding from some of the world’s most renowned fintech investors such as Fidelity, London Stock Exchange, Paypal, and Softbank, has played a vital role in funding and activating the British fintech sector. According to a 2022 report by KPMG, the UK attracted sevenfold more investment in 2021 compared to 2020, and London received more fintech funding than the rest of Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) combined.

A Diverse Portfolio of Category Leaders
Outward champions a broad definition of fintech, with its portfolio spanning the full range of financial services across both B2B and B2C. Outward Fund I has been critical to the success of some of the UK’s most successful fintech companies, including Curve, PrimaryBid, Peppy, Monese, Bud and Vauban, which have all created their own market categories, and are rapidly achieving scale, expanding internationally, and solving significant problems within large global markets.

Early-Stage Fintech Investment Experts

Outward VC was founded to address the lack of options available to UK fintech startups seeking post-seed investment. The VC firm is uniquely positioned to provide value at this stage in a company’s growth, when there is typically a scarcity of capital and investors with the necessary fintech expertise and networks to help fintech companies scale and navigate the unique challenges of early growth within the sector.

Outward’s entry investment is $920K to £1.84M within funding rounds of $1.3M to £12.3M, with the firm either leading or co-leading the round. With no rigid criteria on revenue or business traction, Outward analyses multiple data points to build conviction on the need for a product or service to exist, and then bases its investment decisions accordingly.

Post-investment, Outward provides tailored support to its portfolio companies, including guidance on new hires, commercial partnerships, board construction, positioning for the next funding round, and marketing support.
The fund’s cornerstone LPs are two international financial institutions – Investec Bank and NIBC (Blackstone Group). Outwards other LPs comprise a range of institutions, family offices and private investors, many of whom have extensive global networks in financial services.

Fintech: A Force for Financial and Social Impact

Committed to supporting financial services that are inclusive for all, Outward empowers purpose-driven startups that are committed to making a positive impact on a large scale. Within its portfolio, PrimaryBid was founded to democratise public markets, ClearGlass advances the UK pensions sector with unprecedented cost data, Peppy provides a new category of affordable pre-medical insurance for all employees regardless of seniority, and Islamic Finance Guru addresses the lack of appropriate financial services for the Muslim community worldwide.

Outward’s diverse, purpose-led portfolio is evidence that commercial value and social impact in fintech do not need to be mutually exclusive objectives.

Diversity At Its Core

Outward’s team of seven industry experts is run by Co-Heads Kevin Chong and Devin Kohli, who have over 20 years’ combined experience across an array of financial sectors and venture capital, entrepreneurship, and technology.

Outward’s multinational team includes experts with highly relevant skills such as corporate finance, data engineering and marketing, from a range of countries including Iran, South Africa, Australia, Malaysia, China, India, Belgium and the UK. Based on a belief that diversity in start-up founders and investors leads to better outcomes, Outward promotes diversity externally as well as internally, with one third of companies in the Outward Fund I portfolio led by BAME founders.

Outward’s Co-Founder and Co-Head Kevin Chong comments: “At Outward, we are driven by the belief that fintech can be a force for good. As demonstrated by our diverse portfolio of companies, commercial and social impact objectives can effectively co-exist. We’re on a mission to support ambitious fintech startups in their early stages, when support is most needed, to help them on their way to becoming the most important fintech companies in the world.”

Devin Kohli, Outward’s other Co-Founder and Co-Head, adds: “The gap between seed stage and institutional stage is much more pronounced within the fintech sector, and isn’t particularly well addressed by generalist VC investors. Because of the complex technology development and extensive regulatory compliance required, once seed funding has been exhausted, startups struggle to find investors that can provide capital and specialised expertise, and this is where we come in.”

Shachar Bialick, the Founder of Outward VC portfolio company Curve, which aggregates multiple payment cards, adds: “Outward VC has been incredible to Curve. Devin Kohli, who leads the firm, is a partner you can count on to support you in the downs and help you to reach new heights. Highly recommended partners to work with, with a deep rolodex and understanding of markets and various business models”

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