The London Technology Club is a community of over 70 private and institutional investors, family offices and entrepreneurs – all sharing a passion for tech investing.
We catch up with CEO Konstantin Sidorov
How have things been for you and the London Technology Club (LTC)?
Like everyone, we adapted quickly – our team and members became highly distributed. We have members based in over 20 countries so it wasn’t a new challenge for us. It reinforced our key message that technology is not just nice to have but the very foundation of a business or service. Everyone had to embrace technology more, which we believe in the long term will be good for all. The pandemic merely accelerated a lot of digital transformations that were happening in companies – it just made the business leaders implement those changes faster.
Has the last year affected technology investing?
In the middle of last year investors briefly paused to take stock to understand the real impact on businesses, but confidence came back strongly in the second half of the year. We’ve seen more ‘supersize’ investment deals, especially investors looking for more mature companies and were more hesitant on early stage, less-proven businesses. London continues to be a world leader in technology, for example, ‘fintech’ is a very hot space at the moment. Against the backdrop of turmoil, venture capital investments were still firmly on the increase.
What advice would you give someone looking to invest in technology?
It is the same advice I followed myself years ago and the reason the London Technology Club exists… It is about getting unique insights, information and opportunities from the best tech leaders and investors. Hence, we built our club around following and partnering with the best and most experienced investors and VCs. As a community we are passionate about enabling people, especially newcomers to invest in technology, to enjoy navigating such an exciting space and to maximise their returns.
As normality beckons, what changes do you see ahead?
I’ll answer it from a business leader point of view: the fundamental traits one needs to ensure future success is very different now than pre-pandemic. The structure of the workplace, instilling a company culture when everyone isn’t together all the time in the office are new challenges. Employee wellbeing will be a very big thing as people emerge from furlough schemes and for many, full isolation. Business decision-making will be faster and more efficient in the future – with artificial intelligence and machine learning.
All business leaders need to have a competence in technology in order to do their day-to-day job; manage and secure their digital reputation; understand how their business can become more efficient and not be disrupted by competitors or startups with better technology. Understanding technology is now imperative as a business leader and investor.
Can technology be a conduit for positive change?
Absolutely, investors are already thinking not just about being a passive shareholder that puts profits above all else, but ensuring that their money can have a positive impact. There has been a shift to the more conscious consumer where customers more and more purchase from companies that support what they care about. Our members have invested in companies such as Agronomics to impact the future of food through alternatives to meat and plant productions. We have similar examples in biotech and accelerating drug discoveries, mental health and new technology for PTSD and anxiety, finance to help the unbanked have access to capital.
What are you most excited about at the moment?
Whilst the pandemic challenged us all, our members would regularly remind us of the importance of stopping to enjoy the finer things in life. Sharing experiences, ideas, projects and connections was still at the heart of our value of our club. Now I am excited to be able to do that live and in person again rather than remotely and via digital. There aren’t many better places in the world to enjoy fine food, wine, arts and culture than Mayfair.