A conversation with Sarah Barber, CEO of startup investment firm: Jenson Funding Partners

Jenson Funding Partners is a startup investment firm. We specialize in working with founders during their early growth phase and supporting them from inception to Series A. We launched one of the first and longest-running SEIS funds and have helped shape the startup investing landscape by pioneering the industry standards for SEI. As a diverse and experienced team, we understand and recognize what a business needs at each stage and deploy capital quickly with hands-on guidance to scale the companies in our portfolio and generate returns for investors.

Our focus is very much on inclusivity, not exclusivity. We invest in companies across a range of industries to create a diverse investment portfolio across sectors, geographies and founder backgrounds. As a result, 18% of Jenson’s companies have a female founder – more than the 2.3% of industry-wide investments that go to women-led startups – while 60% of our firms are based outside of London.

Invest in EIS and SEIS programs - Jenson Supporting Growth Capital

Having held numerous positions in finance throughout your career, was venture capital a natural progression and what drew you to investing?

I started my career at Deloitte as a chartered accountant, doing everything from financial analysis to cash management. A decade there provided a great foundation to understand the inner workings of running a company and allowed me to move into temporary FD roles. If you think about it, becoming an investor and working with startups seems really fated.

Through my financial journey, I have seen that the prospect of raising capital can be overwhelming for young entrepreneurs looking for their first significant investment. It is therefore important to me that founders feel as well supported as possible throughout the entire process. I firmly believe that investing should be accessible to all and have had conversations with the likes of British Business Bank about the importance of empowering people with great ideas so they can make them happen.

As an EIS fund manager, what are the benefits for investors involved in EIS funds and for the companies receiving capital?

When it comes to monitoring EIS funds, there is plenty of choice for investors and advisors. However, that diversity shrinks when you focus on those with the ability to deploy capital quickly.

At Jenson, we have a strong pipeline of validated portfolio companies from S/EIS funds that are awaiting investment. As such, for applications from eligible investors received by Tuesday 22 March 2022, we can expect to use EIS funds raised within that tax year. EIS investors have a range of attractive tax benefits from 30% income tax, capital gains tax relief giving investors with a capital gain and an IHT reduction a two year deferral and a year carry back. In return, investors get excellent visibility into startups they fund from our S/EIS portfolio, such as tree-planting service TreeApp and smart vehicle repair company Axioma.

What can we expect from Jenson in the future and what startup trends will you see?

We have actively expanded our team and expanded our EIS portfolio, with plans to launch our first institutional fund, which will allow us to continue to support our portfolio companies as they scale.

As an investor, we are industry agnostic in terms of trends, which means we are always open to innovation, no matter what area they are positioned in. This allows us to effectively counter trends as they emerge. In the near future, RPA will be immense as companies increasingly look to rapidly adopt digital strategies.

For the most part, though, I get excited when I come across a proposal that truly solves a common problem, whether it’s a common problem faced by an industry or a difficulty faced by a niche market. As long as there is room to scale the solution over the long term, and the Founder recognizes that we accept the roadmap and team as a package, not just the idea, I’m all ears.

https://techround.co.uk/interviews/a-chat-with-sarah-barber-jenson-funding-partners/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=a-chat-with-sarah-barber-jenson-funding-partners A conversation with Sarah Barber, CEO of startup investment firm: Jenson Funding Partners

Fry Electronics Team

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