After a long pause here on the blog (sorry!), I’ve dusted off the old keyboard to fire off a post about some recent angel investing news.
I’m delighted to share that I am an angel investor in Elm.
Elm aggregates sales data for FMCG brands in the UK.
Major retailers are required by law to share sales data back to the brands they work with. But each major retailer does this slightly differently, and generally in a clunky way. Gathering the data to have an informed picture of how sales are going is currently a laborious, error-prone process for brands. Simultaneously, brands are now selling directly across a whole host of digital platforms.
The end result is brands have a difficult time having a clear, current picture of all their sales and supply chain data.
This is a natural space for a data/tech/usability savvy aggregator. Firstly to solve the drudge work of gathering the data, and then secondly to turn that data into information for brands to quickly act upon. That aggregator is Elm.
Elm are currently in private beta with a solid and growing pool of customers. Almost all of these customers came via referral, as the pain point for FMCG brands is real. A public launch will happen soon.
Those who know me well will probably be making a skeptical face as they read this post. Didn’t I say I wouldn’t invest in the UK anymore until there was clarity on Brexit? Yes, that absolutely was my position. And, unfortunately there’s still not much clarity on Brexit (As an aside, they are cutting it a bit fine with Brexit, no?) But my view wasn’t because of any doubts about the entrepreneurial prowess of UK-based founders (note I don’t say “British founders” - founders everywhere are disproportionately immigrants, and that is also the case with Elm), but rather because of the currency risk.
So why did I go forward with Elm?
The deal came via a referral from someone I have frequently co-invested with. Wasn’t “cold”.
Solid momentum in the business.
Clear plan, that “just” requires execution. The customers have an immediate need, and can’t build the solution themselves. Elm has created a significantly better option than the status quo. Lots of room to keep improving and providing value for customers
Finally, this is again a good case of investor/product fit. I can hopefully bring some of my SaaS learnings from OpenCage and my data aggregation learnings from back in the day at Lokku to the business.
If you are a UK FMCG brand and would like to learn more, please visit the Elm site to sign up for early access.