secretleaders | Stride.VC: Funding and Financing During A Pandemic

Stride.VC: Funding and Financing During A Pandemic

If you’ve been caught out raising money for your startup during this complicated time, then you’ve come to the right place – you’re in good company.

In this episode of Secret Leaders we’ve pinned down VC extraordinaire, Fred Destin who is primed to answer not just our questions, but your questions too. Why should you take advice from Fred? Because he’s the founder of Stride.VC, a £100 million seed stage fund focused on operating in London and Paris.

Before starting Stride, Fred was a general partner at Excel and of the 17 investments he led, 10 have exited and 4 are active value drivers, including 5 companies in excess of $1 billion in value – these include Zoopla, Deliveroo and PillPack.

His portfolio has a total enterprise value of more than £10 billion, and he generated in excess of £700 million in exit value to investors. All of which makes Fred someone worth listening to if you’re wondering what the hell you’re going to do for money now that the world seems to have shut down.

Because if there’s one thing we all need right now, it’s someone who is able to give us a direct and honest account of where the funding environment is at today.

“By the way, when we raised Stride, we talked to 420 investors, and we had 1,000 meetings. So I know fundraising for startups is painful, but I mean, I honestly have pitched the same story probably 800 times over”.

We chat about:

  • The reason he’s not investing in new startups currently
  • Revenue based financing
  • The role of VCs and venture capital during a global crisis
  • Likely sources of finance going forward
  • Growth plans for startups experiencing short term rocketing of demand
  • Where founders should be conserving or spending capital


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The Secret Leaders podcast features interviews with key figures from the UK tech and creative ecosystem. From entrepreneurs (both early and latter stage), to journalists, VCs - and even royalty - the series profiles those who have helped shape the nation's culture of innovation and growth.

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