Staying Down-Under and keeping the distinctly antipodean flavour to the Vod/Pod or “Pub” Cast this week, we spent the next 50 minutes shooting the breeze with the masterful Christian Faes of Lendinvest, who looks tanned and healthy, as well as speaking superbly dandy, from his lockdown induced home in Queensland, Australia.
Christian is probably the most successful founder that Chris has ever got to know, in his working life and someone he longs to have a beer with again, possibly in the Ladbroke Arms in Notting Hill.
Daydreaming aside, this colourful chat, is peppered with some decent banter, that any aspiring founder and / or Fintech founder and investors, should love.
Again he is a straight talking Australian, where in this episode you’ll get to hear his pearlers on:
# Where Lendinvest are in the journey …13 years in, how they’ve navigated the pandemic
# He has now accepted remote working as a nimble solution for him and his team.. something he was staunchly against pre-Covid and years before, when he was the CEO of the business !!
# The learnings around fundraising, both good and bad, where he speaks with experience having taken £2bn (YES – £2BN) in Equity & Debt funding.
# On the Equity side this has been from some stellar names like Atomico, The European Investment Fund and Tiger in the US
# Reflecting upon the Debt fundraising side, they have raised from all the big investment bank lenders, but despite all this, both founders cumulatively still own 75% of the business !!
# On VC’s, he alludes to how reluctant they were to engage with them in the early days of the business, but the great value, fantastic VC’s like Atomico can bring to a business
# For founders – Christian explains how hard, slow and painful it is to become the founder of a successful business “I do find it funny when I turn on TV and see this glamorisation of the Journey” and what he highlights the banana skins to avoid. with one being to recognise your weaknesses and delegate to become the best
# We also dig into some of the superficial aspects of the sector and what goes on behind the scenes of glamour, that beset the industry and laugh about the joys of Clubhouse, that was peaking in March 2021, when we filmed this episode !
He speaks Australia..
# Again, reinforcing the view of Mat of the increasing size and reach of the Australian Tech scene, but it’s still a small-closed ecosystem, the total opposite of the UK. So still get on your bikes Australians for greatness.
The Quotes of the Episode:
“I look at Facebook and it took them 10 years to list and that is probably the craziest fastest journey ever”, “picking the right investor is a marriage and a statistically probably has about the same success rate as any marriage, not necessarily always great !!”