Hugh Campbell, Founding Partner at GP Bullhound, on preparing your company for an exit

In this episode, Seedcamp Partner Carlos Espinal was joined by Hugh Campbell from GP Bullhound. The conversation begins with Hugh explaining his time at Oxford where he studied “Physiology, psychology and philosophy”. They then proceed into speaking about his work experience with City Bank and Goldman Sachs before his three co-founders decided to take the lessons learned in investment banking to create GP Bullhound. Since its inception the company has now expanded outside London to new locations like Manchester, Germany and France to be closer to great tech companies that come from all over Europe.

Talking about fundraising, Hugh considers that today’s greatest challenge for founders in the UK is not necessarily to raise a £1M early stage round, given the existing tax benefits, but managing the stage of growing a 10-15 people team to 100 and needing a larger round.

Hugh also gives examples on how to build better relationships with investors while explaining how trust plays a big part of an M&A deal. Regarding exits, the discussion leads to the rise of private equity firms in the purchasing tech businesses and how those are different from traditional large acquirers like Google, Microsoft or Facebook.

Hugh and Carlos also approach the state of enterprise software market especially regarding exit options. They then proceed speaking about the evolution of the European investment and tech scene during the last decade, focusing on how it’s improving in Europe with IPOs like Auto Trader, Boohoo, Zalando and Rocket Internet. These have been impacting the entire European landscape including the German technology market fuelling it’s incredibly fast growth, especially in Berlin, despite not having the tax benefits existing in the UK.

Finally they discuss the expansion strategies for UK based companies and Hugh shares his favourite book for young entrepreneurs so that they can evaluate if their idea is any good at an early stage.

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