LocalGlobe’s Robin Klein on founder-market fit and the future of European venture

Robin Klein is one of the true pioneers of Europe’s venture scene: as cofounder of The Accelerator Group (TAG) in 1995, and an early stage investor in the likes of Transferwise, lastminute.com, last.fm, Love Film and Agent Provocateur, he has catalysed the success for some of London’s most impactful private businesses over the past two decades.

“We never forget that the company is owned by the founders and that we are part of the support team”, says South African-born Robin. General Partner at LocalGlobe, he was until 2015 a venture partner at Index Ventures. Prior to joining Index, Robin co-founded The Accelerator Group, with his son Saul. Before beginning his investment career in earnest he built and sold a number of businesses, the last of which was the Innovations Group. He sits on the board of several companies, and conducted the first documented e-commerce transaction in the UK in 1995.

Speaking to Seedcamp partner Carlos Espinal, Robin speaks optimistically about the future of European venture, but warns it still lags behind in IPOs and corporate M&A. “There is a lot of capital and a tremendously supportive ecosystem… but that capital will dry up or be unsuccessfully deployed if the volume of the exits doesn’t support the bottom of the pyramid,” he says.

He also emphasises for the importance of founder-market fit for LocalGlobe. “At the stage we invest the amount of due diligence you can do on the product, market and the metrics is relatively limited so I would like to spend much more time with our founders, because that’s where the heart of our decision-making lies.”

Learn more about the kinds of milestones LocalGlobe looks for in early-stage companies, the evolution of Europe’s ecosystem and the next industrial revolution.

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