Mercia Ventures, one of the UK’s most active investors, has expanded its platform to further support the expansion of its portfolio companies and help them gain entry into the competitive US marketplace.
The service has been bolstered by the addition of two new Growth Partners, both of whom are based in the US and have years of experience in board-level roles at technology scale-ups.
Edwin Abl is a sales and marketing go-to-market (GTM) advisor who specialises in B2B SaaS. Now based in San Francisco, Edwin is the former CMO of London-based Hive Learning and payments business Modulr.
Julian Castelli, based in Park City Utah, will focus on helping companies with internationalisation, in particular targeting the US market. The founder of online travel agency Vacationroost.com, Julian has also served as CFO of video insights platform Voxpopme and is now a partner at Next Coast Ventures.
The Growth Partners will offer hands-on support, sharing their expertise and providing Mercia’s portfolio management teams access to a network of industry contacts. This support addresses two of the key challenges for early-stage companies – sales and marketing, and internationalisation – and will complement Mercia’s existing support for portfolio businesses such as mentoring and help to recruit board members.
Edwin Abl comments: “Most CEOs are struggling with making a million decisions at once – such as the go-to-market strategy, how to align teams around it and deal with people in the process. We can help them by following a systematic process, working through ‘sprint cycles’ and solving one problem at a time.”
Julian Castelli adds: “It can be lonely expanding into a new country, just like it is lonely at the top running a tech company. We are here to help, and are excited to be working with next generation of tech leaders in Mercia’s portfolio.”
In addition to providing one-to-one support, they will also host the CXO Coffee talk series to encourage networking and peer-to-peer support amongst portfolio companies.
Growth Partners is a strategic initiative that underscores Mercia’s commitment to not only fund, but also actively assist investee companies with their global growth trajectories.
Lisa Ward, Head of Portfolio Talent at Mercia Ventures, adds: “Based on Mercia’s experience supporting hundreds of portfolio companies, we know that CEOs value practical help to grow their business just as much as they do the money. Julian and Edwin are welcome additions to our team, and will be critical in providing support to founders and CEOs to navigate through the challenges and help minimise the risks. Having a local presence on the ground also provides access to the tech and venture communities and gives added credibility for those looking to enter the US, which is a key market for tech companies.”