Who doesn’t like a little indulgence? And that’s exactly what we had recently as we partnered up with Equiano Rum and J.J. Fox Cigars in St James, London.

30 Club members had the pleasure of spending the evening with co-foundxrs of Equiano Rum Aaisha Dadral and Ian Burrell along with J.J. Fox representatives and cigar experts Tazminah Edoo and Yiannos Ktistis.

After the success of the previous Cigar & Whisky evening, we had to bring this back, but this time we wanted to make it slightly different. Understanding those who enjoy whisky generally have a palate for rum and cognac. It’s usually a natural progression.” Explained KP, Club co-foundxr.


Photographs by Glenn Foster for Foundxrs Club

As part of our ‘Audience with’ series, in April we had the pleasure to hosting high-end sneaker gamechanger and Foundxr of The EDIT LDN, Moses Rashid.

Although a serial entrepreneur he identified a gap in the market after paying a premium for a pair of sneakers and wasn’t even provided a bag to carry them in. He realised, not only was there a market for the product, but even more a demand of providing limited edition and high-end sneakers with a great service.

After establishing ‘The Edit LDN’ in 2020, Moses launched into stratosphere (yes, that’s where jets fly at supersonic speed) seeing the business grow at 525% year on year. In 2022, The Edit LDN hit $12m in revenue and raised $4.8m in a seed round. After securing a global partnership deal with NBAs Chicago Bull, the Edit LDN is gearing up to a valuation of $200m by 2026.




Photographs by Glenn Foster for Foundxrs Club

Now live in 32 countries, with more than 4.1 million users, payment technology venture ‘Curve’ has grown from strength to strength. Investec has supported Curve throughout its ambitious journey, with the success of the ongoing partnership put down to a shared commitment and understanding of entrepreneurship.


By 2014, the payments landscape was increasingly fragmenting and the volume of financial products available to UK consumers was increasing at a rapid rate.

While many commentators felt that this digitalisation would provide convenience, entrepreneur and founder of ‘Curve’ Shahar Bialick recognised the opportunity that arose out of increased complexity. He believed that the evolution presented an opportunity to transform the user experience by creating a platform – or app – where consumers could see, spend, and save their money in one place.

To integrate transactions across providers was an ambitious idea. To make it happen Bialick would need expertise, funding, and the ability to act fast. He turned to Investec – a bank and wealth management firm with a history of supporting entrepreneurs.



Belief in the mission

Bialick met Grant Bergman, head of Investec’s private company fundraising team and Devin Kohli, the co-head of Outward VC, a venture capital fund which is supported by Investec and invests in series A stage fintech start-ups. Both were struck by the clarity of Bialick’s vision.

“He had a clear rationale for why the product should work,” says Kohli. I remember thinking: if Spotify can be the new entrant and re-bundle music, if Amazon can do it for e-commerce and Booking.com can do it for hotels, someone should be able to do it for finance.”

It was the founder’s belief in his mission, along with his clear awareness of the payments industry, that convinced Kohli and Bergman to invest in 2014. It was the start of a close relationship that would evolve with the entrepreneur’s journey. Outward VC subsequently invested in Curve’s funding rounds in 2017 and 2019 and 2022.


Support for business growth

By 2020, more than two million clients were using Curve, which had doubled its user base; launched Apple Pay and Google Pay integration across all markets; and unveiled Curve Credit in beta. Alongside further innovation, the company was planning a US expansion and looked to raise £100m to fuel its ambitions.

Investec became exclusive adviser to Curve’s Series C funding round later that year. “Curve was becoming a well-known UK fintech,” Bergman explains. “We had already introduced the business to investors in our network, but this is where our advisory expertise came to the fore, by offering insight on market positioning, terms and valuation.”

The mission was a success. Investec raised the target of £100m from a range of investors including Vulcan Capital. A crowdfunding round also generated £9.9m from approximately 12,000 investors, £6m of which was raised in two hours and 49 minutes.

As Curve expanded, Investec was able to assist with its Foreign Exchange and cash management needs too.


Navigating challenges and emerging stronger in the face of adversity

Although Curve has gained traction, it has also faced challenges.

In 2020, global payment processor Wirecard became insolvent. “The FCA shut down Wirecard’s operations in the UK, which in turn meant Curve and many other businesses could no longer accept payments,” explains Kohli.

Curve needed to integrate with a new system, create new safeguarding and settlement accounts and satisfy the regulator, as soon as possible.

Investec’s payment teams with support from its executive stepped in to allow funds to move to Mastercard, with its teams working over the weekend to create a viable solution. Less than 60 hours later, Curve was back online. Bialick would later say: “We would not have been able to accomplish this feat without Investec’s unequivocable support.”

Curve successfully navigated the COVID pandemic and has emerged stronger, with the launch of a new credit offering. It is now live in 32 countries, with more than 4.1 million users. Meanwhile, Investec continues to support Curve as the business raises additional capital.

The success of the ongoing partnership can be put down to a shared commitment to and understanding of entrepreneurship. “There’s always been a natural affinity,” Kohli and Bergman affirm. “Investec is a first-generation entrepreneurial bank. That spirit really permeates the culture and makes us the right fit for this type of dynamic partnership.”

Investec is also on-hand to help with entrepreneurs’ lending and wealth management needs. “We connect individuals with our colleagues across both private banking and wealth management,” adds Bergman. “Our understanding of complex and irregular income structures means we can help clients achieve their personal financial goals, while understanding their desire to grow a business.”



To find out more about Investec, please contact Private Banker Elieen Redmond: email Eileen.redmond@investec.co.uk or telephone: 0207 597 5289


Important information: Investec Bank plc is an investor in Curve through Outward VC Fund LLP, its venture capital fund.


Most of you will know Andrea from the multi award-winning, national daytime chat show ITVs ‘Loose Women’ where she had the opportunity to interview some of the biggest names in the business including Oprah Winfrey, Beyoncé, Drew Barrymore, Michael Bublé and Amy Schumer. This was now the time for Andrea to take the hot seat as Faiza Syed of the Club hosted the entrepreneur.


The event was held at the beautiful grade II listed building in Farringdon, Old Sessions House. With a packed house of nearly 50 members, the event saw Andrea share intimate stories of her journey along with words of wisdom for entrepreneurs in the room.




Photographs by Glenn Foster for Foundxrs Club

Earlier this year, Club members experienced the cultural and meditative process of Japanese tea making. The masterclass was hosted by entrepreneur Yuri ‘Yureeka’ Yasuda, founder of SAYURI, an artisanal Japanese green tea, and matcha brand. Yuri took members on a journey steeped in tradition and modernity, sophistication, and simplicity where members learnt to perfect their morning matcha ‘ceremony’; one of Japanese culture's most honoured traditions.

Following the masterclass, Club members enjoyed a lunch curated by the chefs at Lucky Cat by Gordon Ramsay.



Photographs by Glenn Foster for Foundxrs Club

Over 45 members gathered in Mayfair for the Club's ‘Audience with…’ series. This time with a gentleman whose app needs no introduction. He personally may not be a household name, but his App surely is. Introducing Dhiraj Mukherjee, co-founder of Shazam.

In 1999, Dhiraj and three of his friends founded ‘Shazam Entertainment Limited’ and created what now has become one of the world's most downloaded apps ‘SHAZAM’. In Sep 2018 Dhiraj and his friends sold the company to Apple in a deal worth $400 million. Although this philanthropist and ‘tech for good’ investor is used to speaking in auditoriums filled with people, as a friend of the brand he agreed to join us for an intimate evening with our Club members.

Interviewed by Kalpesh Patel (Club founder), Dhiraj shared his experience and advice on everything from growing the business to the hurdles his team had to overcome to know when to grow and when to sell.


Photographs by Glenn Foster for Foundxrs Club

With nearly 300 Club members and partners in attendance, the Foundxrs Club End of Year party was the biggest event of the year. Not only in numbers but in energy.

The theme of the party was simple, ‘Celebrate’! No matter how big or small, the idea was to bring members and partners together under one roof and celebrate 2022.

Partnered with Crazy Co, Investec, VAR Capital, DAL Concierge, Interpolitan, Cobra Beer, Blue Alpine, Fortis Wealth, Ethos Construction, and Carter Bond Solicitors, all of whom are Club members, the event was hosted in London on Saturday 26 November. Members took full advantage of reconnecting with their peers, enjoying the festivities, and celebrating until early hours of the morning.

The appointment of Ruchira Talwar as the new Managing Director of Foundxrs Club was announced at the event which simply added to the celebrations.


Photographs by Glenn Foster for Foundxrs Club

In the current economic climate, it can be difficult to plan ahead. Challenges such as an unprecedented increase in energy costs; prolonged inflation and weakened consumer sentiment have led to a re-evaluation of business priorities. However, it is still possible to grow and pivot with the right financial support. Arjun Chopra, Head of Private Capital at Investec, explains what he has learned from working with entrepreneurs in uncertain times.



What are entrepreneurs telling you about how the economy is affecting them?

Owner-managed businesses are at the forefront of the UK economy. This means they are sensitive to market turbulence. At the moment, energy prices and prolonged inflation have added to the impact of disrupted supply chains, rising wages, and workforce depletion due to Brexit creating a challenging and uncertain business environment.

While there has been a short-term decline in activity, there has not been a decline in conversation. The entrepreneurs we work with remain watchful but feel confident that we have now taken the first steps on a journey to economic stability and are exploring the opportunities that exist in this “new normal”.


How did the entrepreneurs you work with respond to the pandemic and can any lessons be learned now?

During the pandemic, we saw lots of businesses that were established in their sector, having to adjust and expand their offering.

For example, AirX is a market leader in the private charter sector which saw a decrease in passenger numbers due to travel restrictions. The team was able to adapt part of their fleet to assist in transporting cargo which was in high demand.

We also worked with Pet Family. When pet ownership went up, this business invested in expanding its presence to cater to demand. By nature, entrepreneurs look at challenges in different ways and they can benefit from being the first to react to a change in the environment.


What is private capital and how can it help entrepreneurs future-proof their businesses?

Our work is event-driven. Usually, a client comes to us with a problem that we have to solve. It could be a need to make a game-changing acquisition, streamline their ownership structure by buying out minority shareholders or, if they’re in growth mode, a demand for more working capital.

We lend to the business or its shareholders, and the underlying security is usually corporate in nature. The due diligence would be on the performance of the underlying business. However, we can be flexible about how and where we lend. If someone is looking to leverage their equity to diversify, we can do that. Some entrepreneurs want to invest in a new business and in those cases, we may take security in what they are investing in.


It can be harder to borrow capital in challenging times. How do you make lending decisions in this kind of economic environment?

In every crisis, Investec takes a view on an individual client, as opposed to a sector. The entrepreneurs we work with are generally well-established and own profitable businesses, and we see that their strategy and conviction is often spot on.

We want people to know that we’re not going to hold them to their exact plan. What we’re interested in is their vision and their goals. We’re a medium-sized bank in terms of our position in the market, but we’re small enough to be nimble. In these moments of crisis, when people want to be understood, we can make a profound difference.


Do you need support with your personal or business banking? Investec specialises in working with entrepreneurs and founders. Please contact Private Banker Elieen Redmond: email Eileen.redmond@investec.co.uk or telephone: 0207 597 5289



Photograph by Luke Stackpoole

Mid-November 2022 brought 50 members of the Club together in London’s Mayfair for an audience with Atul Pathak OBE, until last year when he exited the business, he was the largest franchisee of McDonald's restaurants in Europe. With 44 branches across the UK, a workforce of over 4000 staff, and turning over in excess of £150m per year.


Atul Pathak is your iconic rags-to-riches story, a tale of a migrant boy who has done good. The evening was hosted by Foundxrs Club at 6 Hamilton Place in Mayfair, bringing together both, new members and familiar faces. Atul who flew in from Italy that morning shared his story of arriving in the UK, working and proving himself in various establishments to finally finding his feet in the golden arches and creating his own empire.



Photographs by Glenn Foster for Foundxrs Club

Late October saw Investec host their first Diwali event at their offices in central London. Surrounded by over 120 guests including partners, clients and of course Foundxrs Club members.

The evening started with some words of celebration and unity from Investec CEO, Ruth Leas followed by an informal gathering and networking. While the traditional grey clouds of London at this time of the year stayed at bay, guests made full use of the wonderful terrace while enjoying sumptuous canapes by Clay Oven.


Organised and led by Investec’s Gabrielle Cross, Jenny Matos Dos Santos, Eileen Redmond-Macken and Anek Mhajan, the event was a roaring success bringing together different generations of entrepreneurs, professionals and business leaders from various industries.



Photographs by Glenn Foster for Foundxrs Club