Meet Brian, who recently joined Claret to support the team across all aspects of the investment process for innovative companies across Europe.
You recently joined the team in January – why Claret? How has your experience been so far?
I’ve known some of the Claret team for a few years from competing with them in the market, and I have always admired how they operate. Claret has deep relationships with LP’s, VC’s and Entrepreneurs across the whole European ecosystem and I knew I could learn a lot from the whole team.
Claret itself is a very entrepreneurial business, and I have joined as the company is scaling up, in the middle of deploying our third fund. I have really enjoyed my first month. I have seen a lot of deals already from all over Europe and it’s a very busy time in the venture debt market right now.
What’s one trend that excites you at the moment?
It is probably easiest to say AI, especially with all the hype around Chat GPT, but for me its actually efficiency. As in companies being more efficient with capital. Given where we are in the cycle, companies are concentrating on proper unit economics and more sustainable business models with more conservative burn rates. Consequently, these types of businesses lend themselves more to venture debt.
What makes a great portfolio company?
I think it all starts with the management team. A strong management team that drives the business to constantly exceed plan. We also love a business that we can scale with. We might put a facility in place day one for runway extension, and then down the road, we do much larger deals to help them with M&A. We like to partner with businesses for the long run.
Must read book?
I would have to say anything by Michael Lewis. He is the only author I have ever pre-ordered a book from Amazon for. Every topic he tackles ends up being a great read.