Summary: (FP) is a £21m seed capital fund, established in 2013 by pre-eminent VC Nic Brisbourne, with a mandate to make long-term investments in British ecommerce & marketplace businesses at the idea and seed stage.
Mission: The goal of Forward Partners is to deliver outstanding returns to its investors through unlocking the potential of outstanding British entrepreneurs by offering world class operational help at every step of their journey.
Disruptive business model: Through breaking with the traditional 2 & 20 venture model Forward Partners has been able to build a dedicated team of high calibre professionals working across Marketing, Technology, Product, Technology, Design, Finance, Talent & Investment. This team works closely with the entrepreneurs we partner with helping on strategy and execution where needed. We effectively form a co-founding team from day one with idea stage entrepreneurs whilst they build out their own team over time.
Strong tech investment and operational credentials:
Nic Brisbourne: has 15 years experience in the venture capital industry and prior to founding Forward Partners, was a Partner at leading venture capital firm DFJ Esprit. He has worked and invested in London and Silicon Valley, leading over 25 investments and enjoying a number of successful exits including buy.at (acquired by AOL for $125m) and Zeus Technology (acquired by Riverbed for $140m). Nic also authors Europe's most popular VC blog: The Equity Kicker.
Martyn Holman: started his career as a consultant with the leading strategy consulting house, Boston Consulting Group. Since then he has developed a wealth of experience with technology based growth businesses and joined Betfair in its infancy as Director of New Ventures. Whilst at Betfair, Martyn founded and spun out LMAX Exchange, a leading multilateral trading facility for FX trading. During his time at LMAX, Martyn held the role of COO, driving market structure, product strategy, market development, commercial and international strategy and sales and corporate development. In 2012 Martyn joined Google as NPS Sales Operations North & Central Europe before joining Oxford Capital in 2013 where he led investment strategy. During his tenure, Martyn led investments and was Board Director for businesses including Linkdex, Outplay Entertainment, Kobojo, and import.io.
Best startup content this side of the Atlantic:
The Path Forward is made by Forward Partners and is used by over 10,000 entrepreneurs every week. It is The Bible for early stage tech companies and provides insightful, entrepreneur friendly advice and content on a range of topics concerning scaling an early stage tech business. Everyone in the Forward Partners team has a chance to contribute and share their expertise through the platform and be read by thousands of entrepreneurs across the globe.
Forward Partners LIVE is a series of events put on every month for 10 months of the year. We tend to attract over 300 people per event who come to see a luminary in the tech industry deliver a talk. We have been lucky to host people such as Andrew Robb (COO, Farfetch), Greg Marsh (Co-Founder / CEO, OneFineStay), Lopo Champalimaud (Co-Founder / CEO, Treatwell) and Sarah Wood (Co-Founder / CEO - Unruly).
Successful: Over three years, Forward Partners has made 34 investments with a total value over paid in capital of 1.7 at what should be the low point in the J-curve. This is ahead of where 500 Startups were at this point in their development.
Location: Based in the heart of the UK tech scene Forward Partners’ offices are a few minutes walk from Old Street roundabout.
Future plans: Forward Partners is now in the process of raising fund II, to focus on new sectors and potentially new geographies, with £60m expected for this purpose.
Reporting to the Product Partner, Dharmesh Raithatha, the Head of Growth will be responsible for developing and executing marketing plans for our idea stage (pre-seed) investments and for Forward Partners social and digital marketing. In practice, the role will be a hybrid of a marketer, a product expert and a data analyst.
The Head of Growth will, first and foremost, be a growth hacker, able to think strategically about approaches, methodologies, indicators, and metrics, and define the relevant growth KPIs, on the one hand; and, on the other, personally deploying all available tools and techniques, using whatever tactics are suitable – and with minimal budget - to drive product adoption and usage. This will include ongoing experimentation and continuous optimisation through testing and tuning.
Effective growth hacking will necessitate a deep understanding of the drivers of engagement and virality within products, and the Head of Growth will work closely with the Product Partner as well as the product and engineering team to optimise the end-to-end user/customer experience.
The role will also be responsible for the management and utilisation of user/customer data across all user/customer touch points, ensuring that the right infrastructure, systems and people are in place to support effective data-driven decision making. The Head of Growth will infuse data literacy and analytical capacity across Forward Partners and its Partner companies, including upskilling where necessary, refining hiring criteria, and putting in place the appropriate KPIs, management practices and incentive structures (this mostly applies for the Partner Companies that you will be advising).
The role is absolutely critical for both Forward Partners and its Partner Companies – whether or not Forward Partners or its Partner Companies are able to reach their full potential in the quickest time possible will be largely down to this individual. This is a once-in-a-lifetime, career-defining opportunity to; help world beating companies by defining and executing their growth marketing campaigns; propel Forward Partners to the pantheon, alongside Y Combinator and 500 Startups, of truly world-changing tech startup platforms by ideating and delivering on growth-leap initiatives; and develop your own personal brand as a world authority in growth marketing.
The ideal candidate will be an experienced growth hacker with a stellar track record of driving exponential growth in usage and engagement, across multiple markets, for world renowned internet businesses.
The successful individual will be intelligent, creative, bold and daring, but at the same time highly data-driven and analytical. They will be highly commercial, with a profound understanding of growth metrics and KPIs, and strong instincts for where the greatest gains, at the fastest speed, may be made. They will be world authorities in the use of social media and features to drive virality and growth.
The successful candidate will be equally comfortable with high-level, strategic thinking, and hands-on implementation, with close attention to detail. He or she will have a strong bias to action, able to work at a very fast pace, and comfortable making quick decisions.
The individual will be naturally intellectually curious and unafraid to take risks, willing to try non-traditional approaches to achieve goals relish new challenges and learning new things; and enjoy conducting experiments and testing hypotheses.
The successful candidate will embody the Forward Partner's personality: spirited, adventurous and entrepreneurial yet thoughtful and a team player. They will be a bold, ambitious and creative individual who genuinely wants to challenge the status quo. They will have no tolerance for mediocrity and will constantly be raising the bar. They will have a collaborative, open style that fosters participation and widespread contribution of ideas.
Summary of required experience and attributes
GROWTH MARKETING EXPERIENCE – Will be a highly accomplished and experienced growth hacker, with an exceptional track record of driving user/customer growth and engagement for world-class businesses. It is expected that this person will be familiar with paid search and social marketing (Google & Facebook in particular).
PRODUCT SENSIBILITY / APPRECIATION FOR ENGAGING CONSUMER PRODUCTS – Will have a strong understanding of UX, and experience of working hand-in glove with product management and engineering. Will understand drivers of engagement and virality.
USER/CUSTOMER INSIGHT EXPERTISE – Will have a highly analytical mindset, with experience of deriving actionable insight from large-scale data sets. Will ideally be skilled in using statistical techniques and tools to model and predict user/customer behavior.
BOTH STRATEGIC AND EXECUTION-FOCUSED – Will be able to think ‘big picture’ and take a strategic perspective, but have a strong bias to action, with a hands-on, implementation-oriented approach.
TEAM LEADERSHIP, RELATIONSHIP, AND COMMUNICATION SKILLS – Will be capable of operating successfully with small teams and able to scale them as needed. Will be an inspiring and engaging communicator and colleague, able to build positive working relationships with ease.
CULTURE FIT – Entrepreneurial, passionate, friendly, low-ego, collaborative, fast-paced, transparent, creative, challenging, high integrity, down to earth