Angel investment syndicate

DMG Invests in Coconut (again)

Dot Matrix Group invests (again) in  Coconut

Dot Matrix Group invests (again) in Coconut

‘See how much tax you owe’

Often when meeting with startup founders it’s not immediately obvious to me what the really big, worth-doing-something-about pain point actually is. Making something a little bit better, a bit more convenient doesn’t really cut it. If people are a bit ‘meh’ you need to work harder at it.

So how is Coconut changing the game? Well, it integrates banking and accounting services. An easy to use banking app that allows their users (mainly freelancers) to see how much tax they are expected to owe in advance. I don’t know anyone who relishes preparing and filing their tax return and I’m sure I’m not the only one who leaves it until the last minute. Freelancers can do the work they love then invoice their clients in-app, incur expenses with the Coconut card and the Coconut app sorts it all out and shows how much tax is owed (at anytime, not just at the end of the tax year). The very real, big pain point is the anxiety of not saving enough, or saving too much, for tax as well as the admin headache that build up throughout the year. This is definitely a 100x solution.

Coconut founders Sam O'Connor and Adam Goodall

Coconut founders Sam O'Connor and Adam Goodall

Why again?

We invested in early 2017 when they were pre-product launch and have seen the team grow with some great additions - all contributing to a successful launch and growth in 2018 with a group of very engaged users. Adam, Ali and the tech team’s ability to focus on delivering a world class product with the right features, the right notifications and the right support is great to see. Limited Company functionality is now live and because adding manual transactions and depositing cash is important to freelancers it’s coming soon.

Ultimately the name of the game for us is to identify and back the founders that execute well - and we believe that Sam and Adam are doing just that. As well as us as DMG founders, a number of DMG Syndicate Members became investors after seeing that execution and have supported Coconut in this round.

The Vision

Of course Sam has been working hard too - his ability to bring onboard new talent, other investors and win recognition (and prize money) is great to see. The world of work is changing fast. Freelancers are ignored, underserved and have, to date, had to use technology which is just not built for them. More people than ever before are freelancing full time and the gig and side-hustle economy needs Coconut too.

Sam presenting to the Coconut Community

Sam presenting to the Coconut Community

The Community

A huge part of Coconut’s success and their future is the community of freelancers that love the product and get involved in shaping its future. The in-app chat, the Coconut Bite Facebook Group and community events with beers and pizza (above) are helping the Coconut team understand more about their users and help communicate how Coconut is developing.

Find out more

We’re delighted that we’ve been able to invest again in Coconut and are excited about using the app and helping out.

To download the Coconut app click here for iOS and click here for Android.

To find out more about the DMG Syndicate click here and Matthew will be in touch.

We're Growing the DMG Syndicate

Yeah, but why?

When a startup pitches us and finishes going through what they're doing one of the most effective questions to ask is, "Yeah, but why?". What they say in the next few seconds is crucial to figuring out a number of things: can we help them do this? Is this a mission we can get behind? And, will they keep going when things get tough?

Answering that, "Yeah, but why?" question is something we do many times in person with potential syndicate members (or SMs as we've started calling them) and it comes down to something pretty simple, as most of the best answers do.

We believe in the power of our collective skills & networks

What we can achieve together is far more than we could alone. DMG SMs are people who want to contribute, learn and invest.

Contribute

People who have experiences dealing with what the best growing startups will have to deal with in the future - those who can bring a fresh lens to subjects such as hiring, firing, commercial contracts and legal agreements.

We ask, are you keen to be helpful like this?

Learn

SMs learn from each other. We will share 5-7 investment opportunities to SMs over the next 12 months and we discuss each one in detail over a dedicated Slack deal channel. What SMs get is a short DMG Investment Memo on the opportunity and it’s after reading the memo that discussions amongst SMs begin. The discussion and Q&A that happens amongst SMs augments DMG’s thinking in DD and helps SMs make their investment decision based not only on their own views but what other SMs can bring to the opportunity.

All this is good for our grey matter - learning is a life-long habit to be enjoyed.

Invest

We’re all doing this for a return. As DMG founders we invest personally in every opportunity we show the syndicate. Once we’ve discussed the opportunity a subset of SMs also invest.

And now we can contribute further, learn from that, contribute again.

Investing is a fascinating business - there's a huge opportunity to seek outsized returns through patience and the right contributions. In fact there’s never been a better time to contribute, learn and invest.

Interested?

Get in touch here.

Time to LiveSmart

Dot Matrix Group is delighted to announce its investment in LiveSmart, a digital behavioural change health tech startup based in London.

LiveSmart provides health testing and lifestyle coaching services, delivered digitally

Founded in 2016, by CEO Alex Heaton, LiveSmart focuses on the corporate health and well-being market. After taking a blood test and a survey of the lifestyle of the user, the results are reviewed by a GP and a dietitian and results are made available in an easy to use app and one to one personal coaching is provided to the person by a dietitian on areas to improve, helping to reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as Type 2 diabetes. The product integrates to access other health tracking data from providers such as FitBit.

We love the B2B focus of the product

LiveSmart kit

A testing kit can be sent to the user's home, or a nurse can visit to take the sample

The product is largely sold B2B with employers providing this as a perk for their employees. DMG believes that over the next decade, employers will be increasingly motivated to provide preventative health monitoring services to look after their employees. We also believe that user demand for their health data is set to increase strongly and there will be increasing awareness of seeking lifestyle improvements to avoid chronic diseases. This service will help fulfill that need faster than the NHS will be able to keep pace. These factors add to our view that this emerging market segment will provide a degree of ‘stickiness’, particularly as its corporate contracts are typically multi-year agreements.

Strong traction with key partners and customers

LiveSmart has an exclusive distribution agreement with AXA, one of the top 4 health insurers in the UK to sell their product under the Realise brand. We see this as a great add on to a company health insurance policy, and underpinned by research from Imperial College, they are proving that their product provides a significant improvement to the health scores of users. Employers are also able to access aggregated data to see the wellbeing progress of their employees which can lead to better productivity and potentially lower health insurance premiums in the future. They have already secured multi-year agreements with key corporate customers.

LiveSmart is demonstrating excellence in execution

LiveSmart dashboard

Results can be accessed online or via the app

Having tracked them since 2016, DMG has seen LiveSmart continue its product development, whilst growing and developing commercial partnerships with a range of corporates, both in the UK and abroad. It is providing a service at a price point that is 3-5 times cheaper than the equivalent service from incumbent providers such as Bupa, and has developed a pipeline of contracted revenue from which to build from. Having tried the product ourselves, we can testify that the product has helped us to improve our lifestyles too!

Alex is really pleased with our interactions with them so far - including already leveraging the Dot Matrix Group network to create some exciting potential international expansion opportunities for LiveSmart. 

We look forward to working with Alex and his team to help LiveSmart grow and add value with the network and expertise of DMG’s Syndicate Members.