Simon King: Academic turned VC on Angels and Venture Capitalists

Simon King is a Principal at Octopus Ventures, a London and New York based venture capital firm. Simon’s responsibility at Octopus are split between looking for new investment opportunities and sitting on the board of six of Octopus’ portfolio companies.

In this podcast Simon King talks to Peter about his journey to working in Venture Capital from a background in physical sciences and academia, via Africa. He talks about the challenges in transitioning from an academic background to the commercial world and how investments are considered at Octopus Ventures.

Simon also talks to Peter about the interactions between VCs and Angel investors, what the differences are, where the challenges occur and where it works well.

Octopus Ventures is a London and New York based venture capital firm, focused on backing unusually talented entrepreneurs. They have been fortunate enough to work with the founding teams of over 60 companies, including Conversocial,, LoveFiLM, Property Partner, Secret Escapes, Sofar Sounds, SwiftKey, Swoon Editions, Uniplaces,, Zoopla Property Group and Zynstra. 

They can invest from £250,000 to £25 million in a first round of funding and will look to follow in subsequent rounds. They are proud to be known as one of the most entrepreneur friendly investors in Europe. A significant part of our portfolio consists of referrals from teams they have already invested in or serial entrepreneurs who they have previously backed. Octopus Ventures is part of the Octopus group, one of the UK’s fastest growing investment management companies with more than £6 billion of assets under management.

Produced by Mark Cotton, Twitter.

To read the podcast transcription please CLICK HERE - Powered by Speechmatics

Podcast Links:

Octopus Ventures - One of Europe’s largest Venture Capital teams.

Ocopus Ventures - "USA Set Up" articles (link here).

Swiftkey - Committed to providing our users with the world's most intuitive and personalised keyboard software.

Graze - Making healthy eating exciting – Graze create nutritionist-approved snacks, so you can get excited about making good choices.

Magic Pony acquisition by Twitter  (link here). 

Peter Cowley1 Comment