QED is the premier VC in the fintech space. We are operators well regarded for our expertise, engagement, and empathy. We invest in businesses that disrupt and empower.
Fintech is about leveraging the best aspects of technology – mobile adaptation, optimising data, agile tech build, and heightening rapid learning – to make financial services better for consumers – through driving adoption, reducing friction, and creating transparency. Fintech is doing all of this rapidly, cheaply, and in modular/flexible form. But at its core, it’s about solving a problem for a user.
On their own, small hurdles are often easy to overcome. But stacked together, many small hurdles can present an overwhelming challenge, even for the best founder. We call this .8^5. It’s our job to help companies improve their chances of success.
Back to Basics
If you know anything about us, you will know we are fanatically focused on unit economics. Curious about the other principles we hold near and dear?
Our Investment Criteria
We invest in early-stage, disruptive financial services companies in the U.S., U.K. and Latin America. Our initial investment size typically is around $5M with significant reserves for follow-on.
We keenly focus on talent. To build conviction around an investment, the company must have amazing leadership. This means that management is balanced and transparent, open to advice, and focused on unit economics. After all, Fintech is hard and we strive to work with CEOs who innately understand this. Founders who think they know all the answers are subject to stumble. We focus on companies who are unrelenting. Fintechs need to push through constant challenges in order to be true disruptors.
The business must solve a real problem or create a palpable benefit for the user.Beware of technology zealots in search of a problem to solve. We are customer first in our thinking.
The business must be thoughtful about managing opportunity and risk. Solving a narrower problem well is less risky, but often has less upside, than solving a bigger problem with a larger TAM.
QEDis also hypothesis driven. We develop hypotheses, evaluate the universe of companies in the space, and apply full-court press to convert the best we can find. If we don’t reach a deal with a company we believe in, or if we don’t find one, we test further. Sometimes we will build it ourselves or assemble a team to build it and fund them from day zero. In that case, we tap into theCapital One diaspora – a now global network of industry leading business-builders with expertise in all aspects of financial services. We have had great success doing this through our Belay platform, building companies such as ClearScore, Wagestream, minu, MotoRefi, and two other companies that will be announced later this year, and we have scores of ideas in the pipeline.