Monzo founder, Tom Blomfield, says generative AI will trigger a tidal wave of early-stage funding and reflects on his learnings from a whirlwind year of angel investing. Read more in our UK Angels 100 report.
“Generative AI is a tidal wave that’s going to continue for the next 10 years,” says Tom Blomfield, co-founder of two $1b+ fintech startups, Monzo and GoCardless.
What’s surprising about generative AI, he says, is the speed at which early-stage companies are deploying models – OpenAI, Anthropic, or open-source models – getting them into large businesses, and achieving revenue.
“I’ve seen founders raising pre-Seed rounds with $500k ARR, three months after starting the company – it’s astonishing how much value they’re able to generate in such a short amount of time.”
While crypto theoretically solved a lot of interesting problems, Tom says there haven’t been many mainstream applications that traditional companies have paid for.
“Generative AI offers so many applications to normal people and normal businesses; it feels like the exact opposite.”
Tom Blomfield: Monzo Founder to Investor
Tom embarked on angel investing around the time he left Monzo in 2021. In just a year, he made 77 investments globally, including in high-potential UK startups like Condense, Juno, incident.io, Lottie, Patchwork, Penny, Sequence, and TrueCircle.
Tom has since stopped actively angel investing and is in his third batch as a visiting partner at Y Combinator.
In our UK Angels 100 report, Tom outlined some of his key learnings from his experience as a unicorn founder turned angel investor:
- Your best investments are often the earliest – sometimes you can get in before founders have even launched their company websites.
- Founder-Angel relationships vary. Some you speak to every week; others provide a monthly update, and that’s fine.
- Angels should have a standard cheque size and plan how they’re going to deploy a certain amount of money over a certain period of time.
- Later-stage funds have started searching for early-stage deals, but founders should be wary of over-dilution.
Download our UK Angels 100 report for the full interview with Tom Blomfield and a list of the UK’s 100 most active angel investors.
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