Opening up previously closed doors and tearing up archaic processes are just a few of the ways Vauban are making investing in private markets as easy as ordering a book on Amazon.
On today’s show, Alex Barr caught up with Aric Oslerne, COO of Vauban from Carta, the investment platform on a mission to democratize private investment, and unlock trillions in capital worldwide.
What we talked about:
- How technology is speeding up the investment process
- The impact of Covid on VC globally
- The best mindset for a successful startup launch
- Vauban’s exciting recent acquisition by US-based Carta
Vauban, opening up VC investments
Vauban was founded in 2018 to make it as simple to invest in private markets as it is in the public markets. With private markets limiting their access to investors, Vauban’s founders wanted to make it as easy for people to make investments as it is to order a book from Amazon.
Vauban’s platform was created to reduce the barriers to entry for VC. Vauban’s end-to-end platform helps investors and managers invest in startups, taking care of all the onboarding, accounting, and the banking of that investment. It means people who couldn’t access VC before now can.
The VC world, innovating through technology
Arik notes that traditionally VC has had limited innovation and that over the past 20 years that has changed. The first iteration of innovation was crowdfunding, but though it helped people access capital, it didn’t create the solution that VC managers needed. This is where Vauban came into play, making it easier for VCs to open bank accounts and navigate the complexities of tax. Innovation has been tricky as the world is not globalized. You don’t see a lot of European companies onboarding US investors, for example.
“Vauban and also Fintechs like Currencycloud are trying to break the boundaries to investment.” Arik Oslerne, COO Vauban
Helping the gears of the market move
Setting up a VC fund involves lawyers, accountants, fund administrators and takes months if not a year depending on the regulation you need. The costs can spiral from hundreds of thousands of pounds, possibly millions if you are unlucky in your choice of service providers. Vauban have recently released an SVP product called the Five Minute SVP. Arik has shown in front of a live audience that you can launch your investment and invest in under five minutes, and for a few thousand dollars, not a million. This is a game changing solution for Vauban’s clients.
Covid and VC
Covid was an interesting time for tech and VC. Arik notes that 2021 was big for VC with $333 bn of venture capital raised globally: double that of 2020. The VC investments have slowed down dramatically since April 2022, though the investments made in the previous years fueled investments in science and technology which we will see the fruits of going forward.
The scope of investments is changing
There are all types and investments, catering to emerging managers as well as some of the biggest names in VC. People who previously hadn’t had investment experience are now investing. For example, a group of colleagues with a few thousand pounds can now invest as opposed to being turned away which would have happened in the past as it was too time consuming to manage a relatively small amount.
“VC is here to stay. It accelerates science, technology, it has an important societal function.” Arik Oslerne, COO Vauban
Startups: focus on the outcomes
Urik has advice for startups launching a product, noting that it is always daunting. When you work in an entrepreneurial place which redefines markets, it’s important to:
- Not get too bogged down or attached to the problems.
- Focus instead on what can you solve now, and what can you timebox for the future
- Focus on the outcomes, on the customers.
- Spend time on how to make the experience amazing for the customers.
- Focus on the whys not the why nots and you’ll get to a better place.
“I always try to learn about the founders and figure out what kind of person they are. In a small business the nature of the founder will ripple out into the culture. Want to make sure they have that difference.” Arik Oslerne, COO Vauban
Vauban, a look ahead
The clear goal for Vauban is to be more global and to be quicker about it. Their acquisition by Carta gives them unparalleled access to the US market. They have set up in Luxembourg so they can access more funds in Europe and offer more solutions.
“Vauban is always trying to bridge the gap between the VC managers and their investors and what we need to do to make that experience as painless as possible. Every time an investor touches Vauban they are touching the wider Carta ecosystem. It makes it easier for everyone in the system to work better.” Arik Oslerne COO Vauban
Arik is excited to see the outcome of all the investment made in the peak year of 2021 in climate tech, space tech and quantum tech.
We look forward to seeing it too!
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Until next time!