Something is puzzling me big time: How do all these YouTubers, bloggers and social media people find the time to write all of that content? On my side, this year 2023 has been packed with news, accelerating on several fronts and some people in my network wondered where did I go to ghost online conversations like this.
Allegory Capital diversified to fin-tech
As we come from digital health especially myself from Women’s Health, the reality of portfolios in this sector is somewhat quite dangerous when you start an investment firm. First, good teams are hard to find and timing is everything when it comes to the time frame between seed rounds and A series which is where we focus. As a reminder, we are trying to fix with my team a specific growth issue that we believe is not answered by accelerators, incubators and the current VC scene in Europe and the US. As a catalyst for hyper-growth, Allegory Capital’s position is now clear and our mission is well defined: we are dedicated to regulated industries, with companies using emerging technologies and channels to penetrate the market at a high velocity. This also constrained us to Europe and the US, not because of a choice but mostly because we know these markets better. Now as any VC starting a first fund, our discussions with limited partners taught us that healthcare on its own would be too slow and risky to hit IRR targets, especially in the current market conditions. And digital health startups unfortunately need time to demonstrate value, due to the clinical impact assessment or the reimbursement schemes going on. That said, we are committed to making that a priority for the next few years, but we needed another industry with a different pace to compensate for the timing issues. Hence Fintech, also a regulated field, is a great way to diversify the portfolio. We started recently with Unblock, a company originally in South America and now in Europe, Switzerland and the US. Unblock is typically what you can call a hypergrowth startup and a future unicorn if we believe in our assessments. Talking about that, we spent the whole summer working on the Serie A for the startup, our biggest so far, with an incoming 73M pre-money valuation. Shoutout to BDO Switzerland for giving us a hand in this as this is clearly a great exercise to put this company on commercial orbit.
What’s next for Allegory? Building the team with Lorenzo heading our startup ecosystem, finalising our rounds with limited partners looking to follow us in this adventure and of course recruiting startups to build a portfolio that is going to smash our KPIs. We have identified also an SPV as a service model that took more of our time and helped us raise funding for teams using our data-driven methodology. This is something that we truly want to keep as it gives us a nuclear approach to investment and a vc-as-a-service model that a lot of teams appreciate out there.
Kainjoo is extending in different accounts thanks to Webhelp
It has been more than a year since we established a bilateral agreement with the Cx giant based in Paris. The integration of our services and theirs is taking time and we already see the benefit of a such value proposition in the market. What I am referring to? Kainjoo’s recipe for growth is now completed by a network of skills in the world we can count on. See, most of our methods are fitting global brands, and recruiting in 50 markets when you are a boutique kind of firm is quite tough. This is where Webhelp compensates for our lack of size by bringing its mighty weight to the ring and enabling us to compete with the biggest networks out there.
Because of their customers, our luxury and affairs division is scaling which is a good time to re-ignite our advisory boards. These boards helped us network but also gave us a temperature check on the industry challenges. Feel free to write to me if you want to join.
Kainjoo Spaces is supporting its second customer to date
Kainjoo has started a new offering dedicated to organisations having large commercial buildings. Where did this idea come from? During COVID-19, we supported companies in turning their current buildings into open-themed campuses. With our expertise in generating growth, Kainjoo is able to recruit traffic and customers for flexible offices and co-working, and our belief is that it should be done under one topic to create a great attraction point. The first attempt was in Sion, with RE-Group, a real estate campus focused on real estate in Switzerland, and more recently we have the pleasure of supporting PepperHub, a new generation of flexible offices. We also moved Allegory Capital and Kainjoo offices there by the way, and we are happy to invite you soon for some networking events. Coming back to our offering, if you read this, and have an empty building and are not sure what to do, please contact us, We have a turn-key solution just for that need.
The Rise of Brand-Tech Specialists
I have worked relentlessly on new kinds of roles for regulated industries in the name of Brand-Tech Specialists. I was personally convinced that we and our customers needed a new kind of talent that could combine marketing, creative and low-tech crafts. The success of Kainjoo, but also Pupsic and all the brands I supported these years is that we have never backed on these 3 pillars and combined them either through a process or by the people working on them. Deploying a process might take too much time for a customer who wants someone to work on Adobe, WordPress and perhaps on Google Adwords to have a real 360° view of their Cx operations. Right now, the market is exploding with micro-services and talents, with companies recruiting on Upwork to find niche skills and they lose a large time managing this process. Not anymore, we have fixed it and this article is showing you some of what a Brand-Tech Specialist does.
Embedding our 9monthslater framework into Allegory Capital and Kainjoo Ventures
I created 9ml a few years back with some friends in the pharma industry, and since then used this toolbox to help startups and corporations capture value in regulated industries through their open innovation ecosystem. I started working on a book to help grasp that methodology. Allegory Capital is promoting that concept to startups and incubators, while Kainjoo is using through their consulting assignment all the tools from the approach.
You might ask? What is it? Well nothing of a revolution it is inspired by the Design Thinking approach but with a twist adapted to regulated industries, with a 3 by 3 months timeframe. We have now quite some returns showcasing that this method is truly changing the game for many corporations and I will disclose more in the future. And yes we will give away some free tools as well as a measure of giving back to the community.
Events in Brand-Tech and Venture Capital
This year was packed with great events where I had the chance to participate, speak or chair. I created a specific section on my website where you can follow me and join the events you believe are a match for your work. If you need a pass or discount feel free to reach me and if you want me there as a speaker or chairman, happy to do so if the time permits.
- Sep 20, 2023 | Swiss IT forums 2023 | Geneva | More details
- Sep 21, 2023 | Matinal Web Listening with Webhelp Medica | Paris | More details
- Sep 26, 2023 | TechEx AI and Big data Summit 2023 | Amsterdam | More details
- Sep 28, 2023 | ProductCamp EU Amsterdam 2023 | Amsterdam | More details
- Oct 10, 2023 | Medfit 2023 | Strasbourg | More details
- Nov 9, 2023 | 2023 Reuters Pharma Europe | London | More details
- Nov 21, 2023 | Next Pharma Summit 2023 Vienna ed. | Vienna | More details
- Nov 30, 2023 | TechEx AI and Big Data Global Expo | London | More details
- May 14, 2024 | Next Pharma Summit 2024 | Dubrovnik | More details
Nurturing our offshore teams in India and Ukraine
Since we have the possibility to hire anywhere in the world through Webhelp, we still have kept our teams in Ukraine and India. When I announced that we were going to split our teams there instead of Switzerland, some people called me crazy but the reality is that now talents in digital marketing or creatives left Switzerland to focus on other markets like Spain or Portugal. When it comes to tech, Ukraine and India are great places to recruit talent. For more info, please hit our careers portal.
Building a brand-tech platform
Have you tried to work recently on a website, an app or a CRM? You have to connect hundreds of apps together and you have dozens of ways to end up in the same place. As always, we have now stabilised this into our own stacks. The web factory that powered Gedeon Richter, Ferring or OM Pharma is now becoming a platform as a service, helping companies have a multi-tenant, headless stack to handle their problem. Yes, some companies like ThermoFisher do like Adobe and of course there is no comparison here but the costs and time to market to achieve certain goals might require some agility, and this is where our experience comes into play. We are a Hubspot reseller, as well as a Cloudways silver agent for Switzerland and this helps us have a great headstart when it comes to building web experiences.
If we need to build a custom web app, we have a separate road with a venture studio at wirecode.io but for corporations or startups, 90% of their needs are handled by our brand-tech platform. One recent example is the data privacy framework we use with Hubspot, making being compliant with the recent Swiss Data Privacy framework a breeze…
Data Privacy made simple
I worked first-hand on the data privacy topic at Ferring as I was supporting EUcope with the new digital health space and of course, GDPR was a cornerstone of that bill. I saw many companies using FOMO in Europe to make a living and we created pharma monsters to handle something that was, by design, quite beautiful and simple to implement if the right checkboxes were met. You see me coming, now it is the turn of Swiss companies to have the same treatment. Instead of learning from GDPR, we have new companies coming to hustle and stress customers looking for answers. Here is my take: It shouldn’t be complicated to be compliant with GDPR and the LPD. You just have to understand the requirements that are published on the government site and check the boxes. Yes, if you have no CRM, a crappy website and 20 data processors, it will be complicated. In 2022, we processed more than 1.2M email addresses through Hubspot and our web factory and we had multiple audits from US, EU and Swiss authorities. If one of the companies reads this, please stop building fear into customers, you’re not helping them transform.
Diversifying your money, not your time
The art of focus is something that I nurture to be able to diversify my investments and not my time. Shit happens, and building organisations is not an easy task but this principle helps get shit done. I am also very sensitive to culture in a company to build leadership and of course, continuous development to be a better version of myself as these weeks are passing fast. I am on the lookout for more talents to come and help me in my endeavours, and there is space for everyone, either entrepreneurs, advisors or employees, We have so much to learn and disrupt together.
I am also now clear on how to run a partnership and I am looking for true value chain connections instead of mere client-customer relationships. Partnership in the noble term will help organisations thrive in their own capacity and I see the fruit of that approach with my current alliances.
Giving back to the community
I am involved in different ways to share my experience with the tissues of entrepreneurs in Switzerland and beyond. For business, I am working to release 2 associations this year: one is La Fédération Vaudoise du Numérique to help small businesses get a clear path to growth, and the other one is le Groupement Romand du Numérique, with a specific focus on companies based in Valais, Switzerland. For associations and charities, next year a new foundation will come to life to support causes like Free Ukraine and some ESG-based ones.
What’s the future like?
Hard to say but people who follow me can feel that what I designed years ago is coming slowly to maturity with an organisation ready to tackle the challenges some of the biggest companies might have. It took me resilience to learn how to disrupt industries from within, and I am happy to have now hybrid experiences making me a good board member for the organisation I support. Being a father of 2, I am also conscious that the work-life balance is something I should pay attention to but travelling heavily is not helping. I take pride in nurturing the entrepreneurship mindset of my two boys through their own projects and sharing my passion for cars with the company I invested in at Pitlaneworks. Here you have it, a small summary of what’s in stock and what happened but the best is to come. This blog is going to be my go-to while the medium, substack and other platforms will be relays only. To the next episode.