Chris Smith from Playfair Capital is the Managing Partner of the firm. He specializes in seed and pre-seed investments in the UK and Israel, with a focus on autonomous transportation, business and industrial automation (using AI, ML, and computer vision), HealthTech (excluding diagnostics and therapeutics), and B2B SaaS. Chris is passionate about finding companies in overlooked sectors that are ripe for disruption. Prior to Playfair, he held senior roles at plan.com, where he built an award-winning sales team, introduced new products, and led platform rollouts, resulting in £50m in revenues and ranking #1 in The Sunday Times Tech Track 100.
In addition to his work at plan.com, Chris was involved in the re-launch and re-branding of Vannin Capital, another company in Bramden Investments’ portfolio. Chris has over a decade of experience in angel investing, with notable exits including Nearbuy Systems, MoPowered, and Bidstack. He leverages his extensive operational and legal background to support tech companies and founders.
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Today, we have Chris Smith from Playfair Capital, who will share his insights on his role and Playfair Capital as a whole.
Chris will provide an overview of Playfair Capital’s history and how it evolved from an angel investor to a thriving venture capital firm. He will discuss the investments made by Playfair and the diverse portfolio, ranging from car companies in Kenya to B2B and B2C ventures. Chris will also touch on the founding principles of Playfair and the passion behind supporting founders.
Chris will share his unique journey into the venture capital industry, starting from his academic years and initially pursuing a career in law. He will discuss the transition from a lawyer to an investment manager, leading to his role as Sales Director and Head of Software Development at Plan.com. Chris will explain how his experiences in various roles and his entrepreneurial ventures led him to Playfair Capital.
Moreover, Chris will highlight the key differences between angel investing and venture capital, specifically focusing on Playfair Capital’s approach to seed deals. He will discuss the attributes and skill sets that Playfair Capital looks for in founders, highlighting the importance of raw talent, domain expertise, and character traits like persistence and determination. Chris will also emphasize the significance of market size and potential for big outcomes in their investment decisions.
Lastly, Chris will touch on the areas where Playfair Capital provides support to founders, particularly in sales. He will explain how their expertise and resources can assist technical founders in developing their sales strategies and capabilities.
Stay tuned for an insightful conversation with Chris Smith from Playfair Capital!
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– [Playfair Capital](https://www.playfaircapital.com/team/chris-smith/)
– [The Sunday Times Tech Track 100](https://www.fasttrack.co.uk/league-tables/tech-track-100/league-table/)
Chris is Managing Partner at Playfair Capital.
He focuses his investing activities on seed (and pre-seed) deals in the UK and Israel. Chris is particularly interested in autonomous transportation, business and industrial automation (especially through AI, ML and computer vision), HealthTech (except diagnostics and therapeutics) and B2B SaaS. He loves finding companies operating in unloved/overlooked sectors that are ripe for disruption.
Prior to joining Playfair, Chris held senior roles at plan.com including Sales Director, Head of Tech/BI and Head of Product Development. He was the 8th member of the team and over a 4 year period built an award winning sales team, introduced new products (organically and through acquisition) and lead the roll out of version 4 of the platform. Revenues grew to £50m in 2018 and the company ranked #1 in The Sunday Times Tech Track 100.
In addition to his roles at plan.com, Chris worked on the re-launch/re-branding of Vannin Capital (another Bramden Investments’ portfolio company which was acquired by Fortress Investment Group LLC in September 2019).
Chris has executed over a dozen angel investments across the UK and US in the past 10 years with three notable exits to date – Nearbuy Systems (acquired by RetailNext), MoPowered (LON:MPM) and Bidstack (LON:BIDS). He is passionate about investing in tech companies and supporting founders using his extensive operational and legal experience.