What inspired you to found Collective Equity?
We saw just how unfair the journey of a founder is, they take an extraordinary amount of personal risk to build a game-changing company. They have built up value in the form of trapped equity, usually in only one illiquid asset. Founders typically don’t pay themselves well, sometimes for many years, and the time to exit is getting longer. Even though they have come a long way, the business could still fail because of something out of their control (look at covid!). Diversification is a basic principle when investing in these companies, but it is out of reach for the founders building these companies.
Brian saw this first hand building his company Opportunity Network, Mike has been helping founders to raise funding for 10 years, Tristan identified this through studying the academics of Entrepreneurship, and we all came to the same conclusion.
Collective Equity has built a product that gives founders the option of using the value of some of their equity and invest it in a pool of other similarly ambitious companies.
We think Collective Equity has the potential to become a part of every founder’s journey. We hope to make entrepreneurship a safer and more rewarding experience for founders as they can unlock the value of their equity.
We believe equity pooling will better align founders with each other, enhancing the way in which founders can support one another, and making the entrepreneurial community more robust and resilient.
Who is the team composed of?
Mike Royston – Co-founding Partner at Collective Equity. Part of the founding team at online equity investment platform Crowdcube, AngelHub, a Hong Kong based VC. 10 years of investment experience, sourcing, analysing and investing in startups at seed to series B stage in the UK and Hong Kong.
Tristan Schnegg – Co-founding Partner at Collective Equity. Developing award-winning tech while short coursing a BSc (Hons) in Entrepreneurship. Post-grad qualifications in Venture Finance from Oxford Saïd. Tristan has conducted due diligence on private venture deals over the last 3 years and made several personal investments, most notably in a Series B British CNC software machining company.
Brian Pallas – Co-founding Partner at Collective Equity & Italian serial entrepreneur. CEO and Founder of Opportunity Network, the world largest business matching network serving 50,000+ vetted CEOs. The network boasts an estimated deal flow of $380Bn, and 8,500 live deals stretching from the United States to Europe, the Middle East to Southeast Asia and Latin America. Brian also holds an MBA from Columbia University & previously worked in Private Equity at Boston Consulting Group.
What projects are you currently working on and how are they adding value to the Entrepreneurial ecosystem?
Our first fund that we are on the brink of launching is in partnership with Crowdcube offering their funded community to pool equity with one another. These companies must surpass a strict due diligence process and meet strict performance requirements. Darren Westlake, the founder and CEO of Crowdcube is contributing with shares of Crowdcube in this fund.
Through pooling this community together, we have seen not only founders interested in joining, but also angel investors. Building an invaluable network of experience and knowledge to be shared with a financial incentive. We also believe a modest amount of diversification better aligns founders with the continuous risks they must take in order to scale.
In parallel, we are also working on a Climate Fund, pooling equity from founders who are all aligned on the same vision to address the climate crisis but through different technologies and sectors. One particularly interesting driver that we have seen for this fund is complementary pooling, where the technologies complement one another, and Collective Equity is able to facilitate a synergetic working relationship between companies.
For a shareholder of a company to participate in a Collective Equity fund, the underlying company needs to meet strict requirements, an investment thesis, and surpass a robust due diligence process. Our pipeline is completely transparent, so founders can see the calibre of companies they are pooling with.
What are your hopes for the future of Collective Equity moving forward?
Collective Equity is not a stand-alone fund. Our ambitions are to become a step on every entrepreneur’s journey to a successful exit, adding a layer of diversification to their personal portfolio. We plan to do this by building multiple funds a year, funds with different thematic theses from companies addressing climate change, to female founders, to sector specific funds, later stages of growth and International markets.
We can also help founders release some much-needed cash, by allowing cash investors to buy into the portfolio while distributing upfront liquidity to all the founders the day they join.
We want to become a global asset aggregator, exploring multiple jurisdictions and asset classes, but with a prominent focus on being the go-to solution for founders to use the value of their equity to own a portfolio of high-growth vetted companies.
How can the founders contact you?
We are always open to having a chat, you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com