Runway East is built on the power of coworking connections. That’s why we started our monthly Investor Office Hours – to connect startups in Runway East with top UK investors, helping make some powerful partnerships happen. In fact, over £1 million has been raised through our office hours to date. Our latest success story is that of FrontM + Jenson Funding Partners. Naturally, we had to get the inside-scoop on how this all played out. So we’re chatting with Jeffrey Faustin, Investment Director at Jenson Funding Partners and Kiran Venkatesh, Co-Founder and CEO of FrontM.
Hi Kiran and Jeffrey! Jeffrey, what is the mission at Jenson Funding Partners?
Jeffrey: Our mission is to invest in exciting, new, innovative and disruptive technology companies and to support and nurture these companies though their journey. We currently do this via our SEIS and EIS funds. The funds have a mandate to focus on long-term capital growth and enables private investors to invest in a range of committed and ambitious entrepreneurs and their early stage growing companies.
And Kiran, what about the mission at FrontM?
Kiran: Our mission is to enable continuous connected experiences, anywhere – literally. We are driving superior customer experience on airlines and cruises, and higher crew productivity on shipping, fishing and other remote industries.
How did the two of you meet and how did this investment opportunity come about?
Kiran: Jeffrey connected with us via Runway East’s Investor Digest; we are both members of RWE!
Nice! Can you give us any details about the recent Jenson Funding Partners + FrontM partnership?
Jeffrey: We initially made an equity investment into FrontM via our SEIS Fund in January of this year (2019) and then quickly followed this up with and EIS investment in March. As part of the investment we joined the board and are involved in supporting the team.
Kiran: We work with Jeffrey leveraging his and his colleagues’ expertise and network. We are establishing a structure with clearly defined metrics to steer and govern the business in order to achieve readiness for wider market roll out and next fundraising milestones.
Kiran, why did FrontM choose Jenson Funding Partners as an Investor?
Kiran: Jenson followed a detailed but efficient decision-making process, which was a huge learning journey in itself for us as the founders. We had secured a lead investment from our existing investors previously and bringing Jenson’s investment onboard into a syndicated round would mean sophisticated investor backing and smart capital, hence we have been very excited to have Jenson onboard.
What’s the vision for FrontM in 5-10 years time?
Kiran: Our vision is to be the leading platform for 3+ billion annual air passengers, 25+ million cruise passengers and 15+ million people that work at sea face, that provides AI-led interactions for simpler, more immediate and more immersive experiences.
Jeffrey: We see FrontM dominating the remote access communication markets with their technology platform, becoming the platform of choice for business applications.
What is it about Runway East that helps foster these valuable startup connections?
Kiran: RWE is a great anchor for startup communities. Not just the openness of the space and the sense it provides of being part of the ecosystem with regular opportunities for cross-fertilisation of ideas, the proactive effort from RWE team to connect each other is a very important ingredient. This may be over Monday breakfasts, Wednesday cakes, Friday beers or the newsletters and meetups we have going at RWE.
Jeffrey: We believe that it’s the proactive approach that the team at Runway East take to find ways to make it an engaging atmosphere, that goes a long way to foster these connections.