Our Manifesto

Published on
October 29, 2020
by
Toby Coppel
Our Manifesto

Our Mission

We founded Mosaic as optimists who believe technology is generally a force for good, and that the startup ecosystem will positively impact society. Our passion is to partner early with inspiring, ambitious tech founders: renegades who reimagine the world and shape it their way. We also believe in Europe. Breakthrough businesses are starting and scaling here with increasing frequency, powered by unparalleled engineering talent across the region.

Our Promise to Founders

We are excited to join your journey as an ally. We recognize that venture capital would not exist without entrepreneurs like you, who put everything on the line. We are thrilled when you choose to work with us, and honored to support your dream coming to fruition.

As your partner, you can expect the following:

  • Trust: We have faith in you, and commit to supporting the business for the entire journey with intellectual honesty and unbiased counsel.
  • Long term perspective: Success is not built overnight; we are in it for the long haul. Venture capital is a business that rewards patience on all levels.
  • Boutique service: We are a small, highly collaborative team who all pitch in to help across the portfolio. We typically make just 5-10 new investments per year, and every relationship matters.
  • Growth mindset: We are humble, curious, open and straightforward -- having learned from both mistakes and successes. As independent thinkers we often take a different view from the herd. We don’t claim to know everything, and our approach to tackling a problem is often to explore via questions.
  • Low friction: We appreciate the value of your time and commit to simple, transparent business and quick turnarounds.

Thesis-driven

Since the 1990s, we’ve enjoyed a

There are general characteristics of businesses we like to invest in:

  • Big, addressable markets and/or uncharted whitespace
  • Distinctive product: love, trust, early customer evangelists
  • Business model innovation, i.e. disrupting the value chain
  • A large potential future moat, beyond pure scale and scope. From network effects, technical leadership, or other sources. This helps us derive the consequent gross margins and unit economics
  • Broad customer (and supplier) distribution, i.e. no concentration immediately adjacent in value chain
  • Long tail of independent adopters. Bonus for bottoms-up word-of-mouth
  • We invest in ‘whale-hunting’ too, but typically prefer to invest when there is a handful of customers (or highly relevant sector experience amongst the founders)
  • Capital efficiency. After our first cheque, we are aligned with founders/on their side of the table, so funding pays for people, not inventory/asset

Thematic Focus

We look to back businesses catalyzed by new waves of technology that may have the potential to create a new market from nothing, or else materially disrupt the status quo. The themes we focus on evolve, as successive waves emerge, grow in strength, and eventually ebb away.

Historically, this led us to operate and invest in a wide range of web and mobile applications including search, social, and digital media. We are comfortable in both B2C and B2B businesses and particularly drawn to marketplace and SaaS/subscription business models. Our track record includes investing in global category leaders such as Alibaba, Etsy, Squarespace and Transferwise.

In our current fund, the themes we are focused on include:

  • Machine Intelligence
  • Future of Money
  • Edge Applications
  • Work OS
  • Open Bazaars
  • Human Empowerment

We continue to reflect on the impact of the pandemic. We will feel its reverberations not just in public health, but also in almost every aspect of the wider economy, as it impacts jobs and industries in ways that are still unfolding. We believe it also will become an accelerator for many tech trends and sectors, including health, education, and may have a dramatic impact on retail and real estate. In particular, as new work behaviours emerge and opportunities arise, we are deeply curious to understand what forms of value will be created.

Our Story

Mosaic was founded by Simon and Toby who first met in the U.S. in 1995 at graduate school. We were lucky enough to work in leading Silicon Valley startups at the dawn of the Internet and since then, have collectively amassed over 50 years working in tech, split equally between operating and investing, across the US and Europe (and approaching half of that time working together!)

We set out for Mosaic to bring a focused proposition to early stage investing in Europe, providing unique perspective, culture, and founder experience. In the six years since launch, and now we are proud to have created a firm with a strong operating philosophy and values based in trust, intellectual honesty, and integrity, and an amazing group of talented individuals to deliver on our promise to founders.