Nick Gainsley, OneVentures
Navigating Growth and Innovation
Nick Gainsley is a Partner and head of Credit Strategy at one of Australia’s leading later-stage venture capital firms – OneVentures. With over $800 million in funds under management, OneVentures focuses on scaling Technology and Healthcare companies through growth equity and credit. For this month’s Investor Intel feature we delve into Nick’s journey, his perspectives on the industry, extensive expertise and his insights into the evolving trends in VC and the tech startup ecosystem. .
From London to Sydney
Beginning his career in London within KPMG’s Corporate Finance Division, Nick spent the majority of his time in their debt advisory team, honing his technical credit skills. At the time, the GFC was in full force and Nick’s team was the busiest of the entire firm. With a constant interest and appetite for technology and growth stage companies, Nick left KPMG to transition into growth credit investing, moving to a fund called Kreos (now part of Blackrock); the largest player in this sector in Europe. “This was a great role applying my passion for tech investing with my technical debt skills,” Nick reflects. In 2019, Nick made his way to Australia to head up the credit strategy on OneVentures’ launch into the market.
Focus, Fulfillment and Challenges
Nick and OneVentures focus is on technology, but with a sub sector agnostic lens; though Nick has a great deal of experience investing in SaaS businesses. Building relationships and supporting founders with a passion to solve problems is the most fulfilling part of Nick’s role. “I love meeting a range of founders, and really enjoy building relationships and seeking to solve financial needs with an alternative funding tool to equity,” Nick explains. It’s not all rainbows and unicorns however. With plenty of misconceptions in the market Nick states, “Growth credit is still relatively nascent in Australia so I not only have to find good investments but I need to educate on our product.”
Founder Advice & Exciting Recent Investments
Having met with countless founders during his career, Nick offers some first-rate advice for those currently planning for VC funding – “Be clear and concise”, he states. Adding that if a VC finds it tricky to understand the product or service on offer and the problems it’s solving, there’s a very low likelihood they’re going to be willing to invest. A recent investment made by OneVentures that Nick is particularly excited about is InDebted; who are doing amazing things in the world of digitising debt collection. “As unsexy as that sounds, responsibly helping FinTechs, or any business for that matter, collect on debts in a friendly and fair way is really important,” he states. Some of InDebted’s core values revolve around financial wellness and education, which have provided them with incredible customer reviews.
Future in Focus
Looking ahead, Nick is enthusiastic about the ever-evolving way humans interact with technology. The seamless integration of technology into our lives, driven by advancements like AI and speech recognition, fascinates him. The potential symbiosis between humans and technology, as seen in endeavors like Neuralink, is of particular interest and underscores the transformative power of innovation. Over the next 12 months, Nick’s primary goal is to continue deploying OneVentures’ new credit fund. He envisions a local ecosystem that evolves to better utilise debt funding, contributing to the growth and sustainability of businesses in Australia.
The Human Element – Community is Key
Being a part of the Innovation Bay community, Nick emphasises the pivotal role of community in the venture capital landscape. “Venture is all about relationships. Therefore community is key to build a thriving collaborative ecosystem. Collectively we can learn, have fun and achieve more together”, he states.
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