Meet the investor: Will Fraser-Allen, Albion Ventures

Deputy managing director of one of the UK's largest VC firms, Fraser-Allen gives an overview of what he looks for in a potential business investment

Firm: Albion Ventures
Name: Will Fraser-Allen

 Where are you based?

Just off Moorgate in the City of London – 1 King’s Arms Yard.

What kind of investor are you?

We are a generalist growth investor who takes pride in working in partnership with our investee companies, taking a seat on the board and providing strategic advice when required. Our ultimate goal is to realise the full potential of the business and its management.

What kind of deals do you finance?

We look to invest between £500,000 to £10m in a wide range of growing businesses across the UK. Roughly half of our investments tend to be more asset-backed such as renewable power, care homes, hotels and schools.

The balance of our investments are growth businesses, including healthcare, second or third round technology propositions and business services. We are currently particularly interested in established, profitable businesses looking for growth capital.

What kind of person do you invest in?

We look for strong and entrepreneurial management teams with good track records and who are passionate about their businesses.

How do you source prospects?

We have an extensive network including senior management, intermediaries and introducers who present Albion with opportunities based on our areas of expertise, approach to investment and experience.

What is your ideal investment?

There is no such thing as ideal – we look at all sorts of businesses and take into account a wide variety of criteria when choosing a company to invest in.

What are your USPs?

Albion is one of the largest independent venture capital investors. We have a strong team with expertise in the fields in which we invest and have a very supportive approach. The nature of the funds we manage means we can be long-term investors when it makes sense.

What are the hot sectors?

Healthcare, tech, education, business services and advanced manufacturing

Three things a company should be able to offer an investor?

An excellent management team, a sensible business plan and lots of energy

What is the cardinal sin when looking for investment?

A lack of preparation shows a lack of interest. Always research who you are approaching for investment.

What continuing involvement do you like in an investment?

We are a supportive and interested investor and our involvement reflects that. We usually join the board of our investee companies.

What has been your best performing investment to date?

Active Hotels which went on to become Booking.com.

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