For the past eight years, we have partnered with non-technical Founders to build the tech behind their startups and loved every step, learning loads along the way.
With our Founders (our clients), we have built over 30 startups and have created a playbook for how we love to build sustainable, revenue-focused, B2B SaaS businesses.
Last year, we decided to put our money where our mouth is and start an investment arm that takes all of these learnings, and offers non-technical Founders investment alongside a mutual relationship with us as their tech partner.
We believe our approach to building businesses– identifying opportunities, de-risking, establishing, and scaling– empowers non-technical Founders to build the next wave of incredible products that enable industries, create new jobs, and contribute to the startup ecosystem.
Here’s all the information on our investment arm, the type of Founders we want to work with, the types of businesses we are looking to build, and why.
What is Founder and Lighting Capital offering?
This year we’re offering 10 Founders an investment of £150,000 to work with us, as well as the ability to top this by raising further capital.
With this, we help our Founder partners validate their idea, build the tech and iterate on an early-stage B2B SaaS product.
This works in six stages:
- Intros- meeting key members of our Product, Investment and Founder Success teams to get to know each other.
- Workshop- prior to investment, we meet Founders in person for a 4hr workshop to explore business goals, user journeys, user pain points and assumptions.
- Discovery- Founders work alongside our team so they can experience how we work and a Product Strategy is built.
- Build- we work alongside Founders to execute the Product Strategy, continually testing, iterating and validating with users.
- Grow- we help Founders reach product-market fit and continue working with them to help them scale their business.
- Move in-house- eventually, Founders will need to hire in-house, we help them identify when is the right time and who are the right hires.
We do so much more than just building the product, we make sure the problem and market is validated, and take the Founder through the whole process from discovery to scaling the business. For us, it’s a partnership.
What type of Founders do we want to work with?
The Founders we want to work with are:
- Non-technical- they don’t have a technical background and can’t build the product for their business. They also don’t have a CTO (we are the tech partner).
- Domain experts- they have detailed knowledge of a specific domain/industry and know the problem they want to solve first-hand and in detail.
- Commercially-minded- they have a commercial background instead of technical meaning they know how to sell a product and have a network to sell into.
- Confident yet humble- they are fast learners, extremely competent, passionate, gritty and determined.
We believe non-technical Founders can build really successful businesses; they have an in-depth view of the problem and customer base they are solving the problem for– this is what really matters.
What type of companies do we want to build and why?
We love to build b2b SaaS startups with our non-technical Founders. This is because they are:
- Predictable and provide steady growth which is attractive to investors.
- Less risky to acquire and retain customers.
- Relatively easy to quickly solve users' pain points to get quick revenue from those users.
- Producing recurring revenue.
- Relatively easy to scale once the model is proven.
What stage company are we looking to invest in?
We are looking for pre-seed and seed companies that have an early MVP with some initial traction, or offline businesses that want to digitise all, or part, of their offering.
The reason why we choose to invest at this stage is because the initial product is already validated to some extent, the Founder already has a great understanding of the problem they are trying to solve, and they have users to test and learn from.
What role do we take?
As well as validating, building the tech, testing and iterating, we take partnership seriously with our Founders.
We think of ourselves as an in-house team, that functions collaboratively with the Founder, differing from an agency that tends to sit further removed from the business. We speak to Founders every day, they know exactly what is being built and when– they have full visibility at every stage.
As well as this, via our investment we have an equity stake in the business, meaning we truly care about the success of the Founder and business. We see this as a huge benefit and it means we only ever build something we know is going to be successful.
Beyond the initial 6-month investment, F+L Capital also provides support for ongoing raises with Founders working daily with us for up to 3 years until they're ready to take their tech in-house.
If you, or a Founder you know, fits the above and would like to find out more about Founder and Lightning Capital visit our F+L Capital page, where you can also apply and speak to one of the team!