Hi. Carlos (Partner), Tom (Investment Manager), Dave (Business Development) and Oli (Content Lead) here. Nice to meet you!

We have the pleasure of working with ambitious and inspiring startups on a daily basis at our London HQ. We help startups from around the world (mainly Europe), supporting them with an ongoing learning programme, access to an amazing network of mentors, and capital.

We’ve recently hosted a couple of events in London to answer questions about startups and Seedcamp, and now we’re here on reddit to see if we can help some of you further afield.

Thanks for joining. We'll begin replying at 1pm GMT. Ask us anything!

Proof: https://twitter.com/seedcamp/status/553106953032204288 Apply: http://seedcamp.com/events/seedcamp-week-london-feb-15/ Website: www.seedcamp.com Twitter: https://twitter.com/seedcamp

UPDATE: That was awesome. A big thank you to everyone who took part! We hope you found it useful and we apologise if we weren’t able to reply to everyone. If you have any more questions for us, you can visit our website at www.seedcamp.com or tweet @seedcamp

Finally, if you’d like to apply to Seedcamp Week London, you can do so at http://seedcamp.com/events/seedcamp-week-london-feb-15/ Applications close on Sunday. Best of luck!

Comments: 130 • Responses: 43  • Date: 

pheel_more8 karma

Dearest Seedcamp team: since your most orderly and clean employee left in 2013, who is now shouting at teams to clean up the kitchen? ♥

SeedcampAMA3 karma

Carlos: Philipp, we miss you! :)

SeedcampAMA3 karma

Dave: We've got an orderly rota now Phil :) We take it in turns to clean up.

scorpio7117 karma

Another single founder question. I came to your meet and greet in dec but had to leave promptly afterwards for something else, so didn't get to ask my question. I'm a single founder with no team and it seemed pretty obvious you only take these in exceptional circumstances. My question is, if this is the stance of most people, how would you suggest I go about raising money to put together a team? For a bit more context, I've built a fully working app for android and iOS (www.kitesapp.com) and have a (albeit slowly) growing number of users, so am very confident in myself. I would love to bring more people on board for marketing and promotion type stuff.

SeedcampAMA4 karma

Dave: To make it clear, Seedcamp does accept single founders and has done both in the past and very recently. It's a good start that you've already built a product and are the technical co-founder. Being a single, non-technical co-founder without a product would likely be a lot tougher!

Of course, a co-founder can make things easier for you in the long-run and make you more investable in the eyes of an investor, but isn't the defining factor for success and it sounds like you're keen to get a co-founder in the near future to complement your existing skills.

If your existing idea, product and passion is enough to get you through the application process as a single founder, then there are many ways that you'll benefit from the Seedcamp experience. For example, during Seedcamp Week alone, you'll meet over 100 of the best mentors in Europe. As well as getting great feedback and advice on the day, a lot of startups find their first advisors, employees, investors and future COO's at this event.

And all companies coming through Seedcamp Week get that, not just the ones we invest in!

PeanutBAndJealous6 karma

How do most founding teams fund their life (food/rent) after the camp?

I know it can take months for a funding series to close.

SeedcampAMA3 karma

Dave: Even though the word 'camp' in our name, Seedcamp is a lifelong experience :) not just a short term thing!

Depending on what you want your lifestyle to be like, it's always helpful to save up some personal money before jumping into a startup, to whatever extent possible. Then if you're successful in getting an investment from us during Seedcamp Week this should help you bootstrap your initial life as a founder, including coming to London (if you're overseas).

After this, one of the key benefits about being on the Seedcamp program itself is that we're teaching you the skills to expedite follow-on fundraising. 86% of companies have gone on to do this, hopefully within 6-9 months, but it varies between companies.

Ashaar5 karma

Hi Team, What is the Seedcamp stance on businesses with a physical product? (and therefore the need for storage, warehousing, logistics etc.)

For example, I'm beginning to look into investment for my company www.tastecocktails.com - at the moment it is only a simple ecommerce site and all the current challenges are around marketing and logistics, but there is a plan to introduce more technical products in the future.

Would seedcamp only take on businesses that are currently working with code, that only plan to in the future, or would it not matter at all?


SeedcampAMA2 karma

Dave: Fundamentally, Seedcamp is looking to fund ambitious, global startups that could go on to be worth over $1bn. Of course, they come in all different forms.

Seedcamp has invested in hardware businesses before. For example, at Seedcamp Week Berlin, we invested in Podo, the world's first stick & shoot camera. Other examples over the years include Krak and Teddy The Guardian.

Of course, if a company involves physical product then you're likely to have a bigger capital requirement than a purely software-driven startup. Seedcamp's capital will go so far, but through our network, our companies go on to raise on average $1.6m.

passatta5 karma

do early-birds applicants get a higher probability of being accepted in the program ?

SeedcampAMA3 karma

Dave: Early-birds don't have a higher probability. In fact, so far we haven't invested in any types of birds, only unicorns! :)

passatta4 karma

your 'about' page says your invest "initially from $0-$250K" .. In which case have you invested $250K ? Thanks

SeedcampAMA2 karma

Carlos: We've made several seed investments since our new fund's launch last year, one which you may have seen announced recently was Property Partner, which is looking to democratize property investing - http://startups.co.uk/london-fintech-start-up-property-partner-closes-1-25m-seed-funding-led-by-octopus-investments/

sarahbotts4 karma

What do you think characterizes the successful startups you have?

SeedcampAMA4 karma

Tom: Great question. Looking at people / the team - a balance of skills (technical and non- technical) and also generally a positive outlook are key characteristics we look for. Being a founder of a start-up is hard and you're gonna get knocked down a lot and have to work super hard to make it work, that's why we look for positive people. Positive people are those who can inspire those they work with, deal with the setbacks and learn from the experiences and also lead a business and grow it into something incredible.

Carlos: If you want a deeper dive into how an investor evaluates a team for success, I wrote a blog post a while back on the subject and also asked fellow investors their thoughts on the matter here - http://thedrawingboard.me/2011/09/12/how-does-an-investor-evaluate-a-startups-team/

Geordant3 karma

Hi folks,

What is the worst idea that has been pitched to you?

SeedcampAMA2 karma

Carlos: What someone may define as a bad idea, may be someone else's good idea.. so I don't think I'd ever say someone's idea was the 'worst idea'.. Rather, what's more evident, is when a team hasn't researched their market and customer well and thus what makes the proposition weaker when present, is the team's preparation/research, not the idea itself.

Geordant1 karma

C'mon Carlos, someone has come to you with an app that plays rock, paper, scissors on your behalf haven't they?

SeedcampAMA5 karma

@Geordant, are you pitching? :)

ell203 karma

What type of segments are most popular or most likely to get funding in your area?

SeedcampAMA1 karma

Oli: Last year we made a concentration of investments in Cloud/SaaS and Marketplace startups (http://seedcamp.com/thanks-2014-youve-been-great/). There's evidently a trend there, but we're open to new ideas and hope 2015 will bring startups with totally fresh ideas to the table.

guylevin3 karma

What can government do better to help support the startups you work with? (ie what sort of policy changes - immigration, tax breaks, infrastructure etc)

SeedcampAMA1 karma

Carlos: I tried to highlight some of the attributes that I think it takes to build a tech-ecosystem here in a blog post I wrote a little while ago here: http://bit.ly/1BLfWac I think there are several governments out there that are doing some great efforts to innovate in this space, including the UK and Estonia. Naturally, any changes to policy take time so it's important to keep that in mind.

odedran872 karma

Hi Carlos, Tom, Dave. Appreciate your time to answer questions. What would Seedcamp look for in a professional social media start-up that is still pre-launch before taking them onboard? Thanks, Navin.

SeedcampAMA1 karma

Dave: Hi Navin. Appreciate your time to ask questions :) It's the same thing that we'd look for in any pre-launch startup. What is the problem you're solving, how do you intend to solve it, how big is the opportunity and why are you the person (or preferably team) to solve it and build a global company.

civilserf2 karma

What is the best way that you think pure financial investors (as opposed to those with entrepreneurial experience) can add value to a start-up? Who would be your model examples?

SeedcampAMA1 karma

Carlos: I think the model of your question is Fred Wilson from Union Square Ventures... he's got an amazing network of people in various industries, network of other investors to help back his companies, and also has seen many different types of deals and thus can share with his companies, how other companies have tackled similar problems. In the end, its partially about sharing pattern recognition, but also knowing when to make the right introductions to those that are subject matter experts.

LukeW722 karma

What is the most successful startup you have assisted with?

SeedcampAMA3 karma

Carlos: We've put our successes on our website here: http://seedcamp.com/our-successes/ however, there are many other companies which we are proud of that are doing some amazing things, such as Transferwise (https://transferwise.com/) and Replay (http://replayapp.com/) to name a few, which are still coming along in their journey.

passatta2 karma

is there any difference betwwen SeedCamp Week London and Seedcamp Week Berlin ? Do you know already the dates for Berlin ..?

SeedcampAMA1 karma

Carlos: Berlin and London are effectively the same experience, we just host the event in these two cities to better serve those who have to travel from different parts of the globe. To give you a feel for what happens in SC Week, Tom wrote a summary on this AMA.. As for dates, we are going to be finalizing those soon.

bhalp12 karma

Have you passed on any startups that went on to do well? If so, tell us about what you didn't see or why you passed.

SeedcampAMA2 karma

Carlos: Part of being an investor is having some misses you regret. Actually there are some great pages on some other investor's website of this (their Anti-Portfolio) - for example, Bessemer's (http://www.bvp.com/portfolio/antiportfolio) - For us, we have a few, one in particular I wish we had backed was https://www.pipedrive.com at the time they applied to Seedcamp.

passatta2 karma

Dear Seedcamp team: Thank you for your time.. Do you plan to renew a reddit AMA later this year ? Thanks.

SeedcampAMA1 karma

Oli: We love reddit! It's been great to see such an awesome response and we've had a lot of fun hosting it. I think it's fair to say we'll do this again sometime soon :)

Aaronxjames2 karma

How important do you believe location is in the startup game?

What skills do you believe young entrepreneurs studying in universities should focus their time on?

Any book recommendations? I just picked up "Venture Deals by Feld/Mendelson"

SeedcampAMA1 karma

Oli: On books... we put together a list of our top recommendations a few years ago, and while plenty of great reads have been published since, these are still worth while looking at. Take a look... http://seedcamp.com/knowledge-is-power-30-books-every-young/

SeedcampAMA1 karma

Tom: Location can give you an advantage as it can allow you to tap into an established tech ecosystem (i.e. talent, investors, advisors etc). All Seedcamp companies can take advantage of our offer of free office space with the Seedcamp team at Google Campus in London, this gives Seedcamp companies access to the largest and most vibrant tech ecosytem in Europe. However, we recognise that the US represents a huge potential pool of capital and this is where our US trip comes in - twice a year we take a group of Seedcamp founders on a two-week roadtrip to the US to visit the major tech hubs of New York, Boston, San Francisco and Silicon Valley where we visit the largest VCs (e.g. Sequoia Capital, a16z, USV etc) and the largest platform providers and start-up success stories (e.g. Google, Facebook, twitter, YouTube etc). Seedcamp companies are therefore ideally placed to benefit from the best parts of the European and US eco-systems and grow billion dollar businesses!

angellist2 karma

Why don't you use AngelList to do your applications any more? :( miss you

SeedcampAMA1 karma

Carlos: We still do! :)

SeedcampAMA1 karma

Why don't you use AngelList to do your applications any more? :( miss you


PeanutBAndJealous2 karma

What actually happens at Seedcamp WEEK? The website just details a Seedcamp Day :s

SeedcampAMA1 karma

Tom: Seedcamp week is a full-on intense week from Monday to Thursday. Day one is about meeting the Seedcamp team and getting some feedback, tips, and preparation support for the week ahead. Day two is focused on presentations to the tight group of investors in Seedcamp's fund (http://seedcamp.com/investors/) - this is a great opportunity to provide some more detail and learn from some deep dive questioning into your business proposal. Day three gives the teams the opportunity to present to a larger invite only audience made up of key investors from the European start-up eco-system followed by individual mentoring sessions for each team with such attendees. Day four is structured much like three however this time the attendees are primarily founders and many of the best known industry experts, again each of the attending teams gets hugely valuable individual mentoring - a real once in a lifetime opportunity! Both days three and four also include masterclasses from some of the most high profile speakers in the industry (e.g. we hosted a fireside chat with Fred Wilson during our most recent Seedcamp Week in Berlin). Finally, we host events in the evenings throughout the week for the teams to better get to know each other and also network with the investors, founders and various key people from the industry to give the teams the best possible exposure to the Seedcamp family. All in, it's a hugely valuable week whether at the end of it you're successful in receiving funding from Seedcamp or not.

Tortuge2 karma

What are the best emerging markets right now?

SeedcampAMA1 karma

Carlos: I think looking at it in terms of specific countries is perhaps a red-herring.. the higher correlation for exciting new markets is between countries whose economies are small internally, and thus founders are forced to think globally from the start. Those countries, which include Estonia, for example, are increasingly showing some amazing companies that have international ambitions.

isonnysood2 karma

Do you accept sole founders at idea stage with 16 years of domain expertise?

SeedcampAMA1 karma

Carlos: Yes. We have invested in various sole founders over the years.. however, it isn't easy being a sole founder, both in terms of bouncing ideas off of someone, as well as splitting roles according to functional experience. We tend to invest in sole founders that can also execute their ideas, so if they are building a tech heavy product (as opposed to a service that may not, at the early days require a platform), we'd favor seeing the sole founder be able to build a prototype.

yodagates2 karma

In terms of shares/investment (uk ltd company) from SeedCamp - are they A or B shares (A=voting / B=non-voting)?

SeedcampAMA1 karma

Tom: Dealing with the capital structure of your company is always a tricky question for founders and we've got loads of experience of helping founders work this stuff out. A good place to start to get an idea of how we think about our investments is the Seedsummit website (http://seedsummit.org/) - We launched Seedsummit to try to bring together leading investors to create transparency in the European startup ecosystem. By providing standard documents we hope to help both early stage investors and startups by allowing them to operate in a fast, fair, and affordable way - based on this approach we hold ordinary shares in the majority of our investments, but appreciate that sometimes we need to be flexible and adapt to circumstances as they present themselves, for example, when founders have unique requirements to fulfill (keeping government grants, etc).

Ikollect2 karma


Thanks for making the time to answer our questions.

Question is on your criteria for traction: We've recently started up a couple of months ago (app based platform for discovering and collecting affordable art). We've got our version 1 product in the App store and are currently in the process of signing up customers for a beta. Based on current feedback, we anticipate a good sign-up rate in the next weeks, but at time of application are early in the process of on-boarding customers.

What are your thoughts on applying now or waiting for your next event (Berlin I believe?) to be able to show the proof in the pudding? Any guidance on traction criteria welcome.

FYI we are based in London, so this would be better for us logistically.


The Ikollect Team.

SeedcampAMA1 karma

Dave: It's your call of course, but I don't think it could do any harm to apply for the upcoming London event, as long as you can articulate the problem you're solving, how you think you're doing it, what the opportunity is and why you're the team to do it.

Showing traction helps prove one or all of these points, but isn't 100% necessary. And if you're not accepted this time, you can always apply for future Seedcamp Weeks. I think the record for applying before getting investment is at least 3 times.

If you do apply, then just be clear on what stage you're at and why the traction level is it what it is currently.

It's worth noting that there are other ways to show traction for the stage that you're at, beyond vanity metrics like user numbers. For example, a founder's ability to hire a great team is a positive sign before you've even launched a product.

Britishette2 karma

Hello Seedcamp team, I have a question regarding the 1 minute founders presentation video: should we talk/present the product or only introduce the founders, or both?

SeedcampAMA1 karma

Dave: The video is a great way for us to meet you, the founders, and not only get a feel for your product, but for your passion and the product too. We're just as interested in the founding team as the actual product or idea.

scotthardinguk2 karma

I attended the Meet & Greet this week. Was fantastic! One thing Carlos said that was quite pertinent was essentially you guys are looking for teams with a 'technical' co-founder. It is possible but difficult to gain investment without this. I have actually seen this in a number of places.

So my question is how does one define 'Technical' ... Obviously if you are designing a Medical App this means somebody who knows about Medicine but if you developing say something to disrupt Social Media how can one be defined as technical in that space?

or are we simply looking for a Senior Dev within the Co-Founding team. The person who is going to be writing the code?

SeedcampAMA2 karma

Carlos: That's a great question. Perhaps the best way to think of 'technical' is someone who can give you operational independence at the prototype level. That is probably very different for different industries. At the end of the day, what we are looking for is for the team to be able to execute quickly on what customers need and what the market shows is in demand.

jumpstart252 karma

What is your investment range?

SeedcampAMA1 karma

Carlos: We have two types of investments: we invest in pre-seed stage companies up to $75K and in seed-stage companies up to $250K. You can read more about our deal & terms here: http://seedcamp.com/our-deal-terms/ and here http://seedcamp.com/capital/

betcafe1 karma

Αntonios: On Question #24. { Q24Which of the three Seedcamp funding options do you prefer and why? (see http://seedcamp.com/our-deal-terms) } the options are 1. EUR 0 for 3%, 2. 25K for 5% and 3. 50K for 10% . in EUR. In your above answer you have different numbers and in US$. Could you please clarify. Thank you.

SeedcampAMA1 karma

Yup. Giving you ranges in Dollars to help you compare with others. For companies that have other investors leading the round, that's when we can invest in the seed-stage.

danielebelleri1 karma

My second question is here: what particular traits all the "killer applications" you receive tend to have in common? brevity, clarity, a certain mood, originality, an attention to financial details? Thanks again!

SeedcampAMA1 karma

Carlos: Because we believe strong teams are ultimately the driver of successful companies, we are looking for clues that gives us a sense of their capabilities as well as their attention to detail and application coherency. For example, if a company has a B2C product, how much attention is given to the look & feel of even their pitch deck/application? We have found that those that are coherent across all of their communications and product tend to stand out in our eyes!

passatta1 karma

can we get a 50k funding and not spend 3 months full-time in London ?

SeedcampAMA1 karma

Carlos: Time in London is about spending time with the other Seedcamp teams, which are instrumental in helping you develop your company faster. Yes, we have teams that are not based in London and 'fly in' for our Seedcamp Academy, but founders who spend more time in London, get to meet investors faster and build relationships with other founders faster, all of which we have seen contribute significantly to the company's success.

Yniche1 karma

What kind of support do startups get post-seedcamp?

SeedcampAMA1 karma

Dave: There is no post-Seedcamp! :)

Seedcamp isn't just for a week, it's not even just for 3 months. Seedcamp, our network and the extended Seecamp family of mentors and other founders will support you all the way to a billion dollar exit.

danielebelleri1 karma

Hi Seedcamp team,

I'm currently involved in two companies right now, and both of them would be eager to receive some funding, but I'm still undecided with whom enterprise to apply to Seedcamp with: 1) A brand-new startup building a marketplace for legal services and 2) A strategic design agency already established since a couple of years, which is helping other brands to develop their identity and their strategy for growth, especially from a visual point of view.

Company 1 is obviously the most easy to communicate, and possibly it has the most appealing profile in term of rapid profitability. However, I think company 2 has the greatest potential on the long run, as it is trying to develop a working method potentially suitable for hundreds of other businesses.

To wrap up: What kinds of companies have been most appealing to you in the latest years: those startups whose core business is very narrow (at least at the beginning: a specific app, a single product), or those firms with a multifaceted identity, perhaps less easy to define but with a more ambitious long-term vision?

Perhaps for company 1 a Seed funding is the best solution, while for company 2 it would be better to let the business grow first and then aim to a more consistent funding source (VCs?). What do you think about it?

Thank you very much!

SeedcampAMA1 karma

Dave: It's very difficult to run two companies at the same time. So if you want one of those to be a fast-growing business with the potential to be a valuable, global business then you will ultimately need to decide to fully focus on just one.

In terms of what is most appealing to Seedcamp... as an investor we're looking for those valuable, global businesses that are capable of making a 10x+ return to our own investors. Agency businesses have classically had more challenges scaling, but we're always open to seeing innovation in the space.

foolsgolds1 karma

Hi, our product (an online marketplace for commercial spaces) is already available to customers for about 18 months, though still in continuous development. Having started from doing everything manual, we are gradually going to a fully automated system, responding to the most urgent needs of both us as manager of the product, as our users.

Does this long period of activity (or in general does the state of the product) affect in any way our possibilities (positive or negative) for the Seedcamp Week? Thanks.

SeedcampAMA1 karma

Carlos: We appreciate different businesses have different growth challenges. For example, a healthcare startup will have a different speed of tech and biz dev innovation than one that is a B2C play. Thus, during our application review process, we do factor a startup's inherent industry challenges.

PeanutBAndJealous1 karma

Have you guys ever had any chartered accountants (founders) come through Seedcamp?

SeedcampAMA1 karma

Carlos: We have founders with all types of backgrounds!

passatta1 karma

which criteria ( team / product / market / ...other ) are most important for you in your selection process ? and which percentage each of those criteria represent in the decision ?

SeedcampAMA1 karma

Carlos: Many parts of a startup are constantly in flux in the early days.. thus the team is the most critical point we consider as part of our selection process. Great teams create great ideas and products in large markets!

MalcolmHamishMcDeath1 karma

Hello guys. I actually kind of know Dave, but rather than ask on Twitter I thought I'd ask here so others could benefit from seeing the answers.

  • When will the next London camp be (Apart from this Feb), is it annually?
  • What are the restrictions, if any, the funding can go on. E.g. living expenses /wages.
  • If you had a product already built. What do you expect the funding to be spent on. Marketing, capital to develop further etc.?

Thanks for your time :)

SeedcampAMA1 karma

Dave: Dear Mr. McDeath. I obviously don't know you well enough to know your Reddit handle :) But to answer your question...

1) re: Seedcamp Week London - it happens twice per year. The second one is usually in September, so plan for that. The next one will be Berlin in May.

2+3) re: Seedcamp restrictions on funding - We want to back talented founders and expect them to make the best decisions on all areas of their business. We believe that investors should not dictate how you should use your funding, but given that we both want the same thing (ie. you building a successful, fast-growing company), we'll always help advise if you need it.

Different founders will have different expectations to what their living expense / wages should be. And different businesses will have different cash requirements for different things. The great thing about being a Seedcamp founder is that you'll also have the support of other Seedcamp founders to benchmark against

tpwnz1 karma

I am part of a team for a social networking app. We have been trying to get funding to push our app to the next stage, but we have found it is quite hard to get a response from an Angel/VC. Do you have any suggestions that could help us out?

You can check out our app at www.boundapp.com


SeedcampAMA1 karma

Dave: One of the things we work with Seedcamp founders on a lot is the best process and timing for reaching out to investors. There's a lot of things that could be going wrong, so without more information it's difficult to form an informed answer. You'll have to apply to Seedcamp and then get the advice in one of our Academy sessions ;)

Taking a quick look at your app, it seems that you're in a space where a lot of different people are already trying to innovate (ie. social event creation/discovery). So make sure you're clearly communicating what your USP is, what segment(s) you're targeting and why you can make something work in a category that some investors have some negative bias against.

Good luck!

CarlogBuckley0 karma

Hi Carlos, Tom & Dave! I am the London based arm of a US startup developing technology for personalised nutritional supplements. That's the simple description of what we're doing! Is Seedcamp a good place to meet a co-founder to work with in order to launch the technology in UK & Europe?

scotthardinguk2 karma

I attended the Meet and greet this week and a question like this cropped up.

I think what was said was, the hackathons that they run are a good place to meet co-founders.. It seemed that by the time you get to seedcamp your team and product should be robust enough to be put through the paces.. that's just my interpretation of what was said on Tuesday - i'll let the experts pip in with the 'official reply'

CarlogBuckley1 karma

Thanks scott! Team is robust but the rest are based in the US...will wait to hear what the official reply is...

SeedcampAMA1 karma

Carlos: @scotthardinguk summarized it well... :)

metara0 karma

Carlos, Which would you rather fight: one horse-sized duck, or 100 duck-sized horses?

SeedcampAMA1 karma

Carlos: Fighting 100 of anyone is tough (http://theoatmeal.com/quiz/justin_bieber).... I'd take my chances with just one... and rely on the duck's clumsy webbed-feet as a point of weakness!

Pascal70 karma


I currently develop my startup with a discruptive business about Video on demand. I wonder if there's a conflict of interest between google play ( you) and me ? How to do ?

Many thanks

SeedcampAMA1 karma

Dave: We don't have any affiliation to Google Play, but if you're entering a competitive market then it's worth thinking about how you communicate what your USP is, how you'll compete against others, why you're the team to disrupt this industry.