The landscape for start-ups has changed. Software has eaten the world and companies today benefit from a set of ‘digital rails’ that they can build their business on top of. Its never been faster or cheaper to iterate to product-market fit, and this creates enormous optionality. D2 exists to preserve and amplify that optionality for founders.

We aspire to create the most founder aligned venture capital fund in the world.

D2 aims to improve the odds of success for the founders we back by aligning ourselves behind a broader set of outcomes.

We provide flexible investment capital that can end up looking different depending on the growth path you choose to follow. Once we’ve invested, we can provide both follow on equity investment and non-dilutive capital to give you the right type of capital at the right time.

Added to that is a commitment to support you in building your company in the way that makes sense for you and your business, not just for your investors.

Check out our manifesto below to lean more:

We are in the age of the equity efficient start-up

Its never been faster or cheaper to find Product-Market Fit

Modern cloud infrastructure means it’s possible for start-ups to rapidly iterate their product, start earning revenue early and hit Series-A milestones on the back of limited amounts of equity capital.

Having nailed product-market fit, they will then either raise large growth rounds or never raise again and scale on the back of cash-flow. Not every start-up follows this approach, but those that have are among the most successful emerging companies in recent years, such as Checkout.com, Message Bird and Calendly. We call these contrarian operators ‘equity efficient start-ups’, and they are what we love to invest in at D2.

It's time to ditch the ‘one size fits all’ model of backing founders

In the early stages of a business everything is possible but nothing is certain.

You may raise hundreds of millions on your path to becoming a unicorn; you may hit profitability and scale to enormous heights on the back of cash flow; or you may end up creating a solid and stable mid-sized company that you want to run forever. All of those outcomes are huge achievements, but each of them should be funded slightly differently to ensure the best outcome for the founders. The trouble is most early stage capital comes in a ‘one size fits all’ that demands a specific path.

At D2, we offer founders a choice. Either we can invest in equity just like any other VC. Or we can use a special type of convertible note, designed by us, which we’ve named the HERO. The HERO either converts into equity at your next round, or if there is no next round it becomes a revenue share for a few years. You can learn more about the HERO here. We think it’s way more founder friendly than straight equity, but the choice of what we use is up to you.

Funding tech companies solely with equity makes no sense.

Equity rounds are the most expensive form of capital you will ever raise, especially at the early stage.

It’s a hidden expense because you don’t pay interest but, for a fast growing start-up, it can have an effective cost from dilution of 40%+ a year. Raising equity capital to fund product development, hire staff or scale into new countries makes perfect sense; but repeat expenses with a clear ROI (e.g. marketing), or working capital issues (e.g. needing to access your ARR upfront or having large one-off bills) are better off being funded with much cheaper non-dilutive capital, even in the early days.

Once we’ve invested, we provide the option of non-dilutive financing to our investee companies. That might take the form of revenue based financing, SaaS receivables lending or more conventional debt structures. We’ll work with you to provide the right type and amount of non-dilutive capital at the right time for your business.

So much more than just another VC fund. These guys actually walk the walk of being 'founder first'
Joseph Undaloc
Loma

FAQs

Do you have a particular sector focus?

No. Equity efficient start-ups can be found in any domain. It’s a mind-set, not a sector.

What do you look for in a business?

  • (Early) revenue generating
  • Evidence of a repeat revenue business model
  • Leverages and builds on existing technologies
  • Compelling niche with large adjacencies
  • Founder mindset of ambitious but conscious growth

Do I need to be profitable?

No. Most of the businesses we invest in are loss making. Where we differ from many other investors is that we look for positive unit economics from inception. We think trying to solve negative unit economics with scale is like trying to put out a fire with gasoline.

Do you take Board seats?

Not unless the founder wants us to. Instead we talk to our founders every week and roll up our sleeves to focus on areas where we can help.

Do you lead rounds?

We are happy to lead or follow alongside other investors. When co-investing we look for investors with a shared ethos of conscious growth rather than growth at all costs.

Do you reserve capital for follow-ons?

Yes, a portion of our fund is reserved for follow-ons for the companies in our portfolio that choose to go on and raise consecutive rounds of funding. Where companies raise very large amounts, we will create SPVs to continue funding from our investor base.

Which geographies do you invest in?

We focus our efforts on the UK and Europe. We can selectively invest outside of those geographies but it’s a higher bar.

How does your non-dilutive funding work?

We have the ability as a fund to offer various forms of non-dilutive funding (e.g. venture debt, SaaS receivables financing, revenue based financing, payables financing). We work with you to understand the needs of the business and where non-dilutive capital could be useful. We then use an analytics tool to keep track of your progress and provide a term-sheet as soon as you’re ready.

Will you push me to raise again?

Definitely not. We only ever want you to raise more dilutive venture capital funding because it’s the right choice for your business, not the only choice.

How do I know if you are good people?

Talk to the founders we’ve invested in, we will happily make an introduction. You can also see what people write about us at Landscape.