Investors put money into technology startups for a plethora of reasons. Most want to get rich, some want to change the world, and others just have FOMO (fear of missing out).
But usTwo cofounder Matt Miller, or Mills as he likes to be known, said he invests in businesses as a way of accumulating mates.
“I’m essentially buying friends [when I invest],” he said at a talk in King’s Cross on Wednesday that was organised by Creative Entrepreneurs.
Mills is investing in startups through a small fund that usTwo set up after building digital products for the likes of Google, Sky, and Adidas, as well as launching its own hit mobile game: “Monument Valley”.
When deciding whether to invest in a startup “it’s about whether I want to spend time with them and do they inspire me,” Mills said, adding that he’s looking for something magic in people.
The startup pitch deck is one of the most widely used methods adopted by founders on the hunt for capital but Mills said: “There’s nothing worse than looking through a pitch deck. I’m purely about people.”
Mills has invested in companies like music ticketing platform Dice, which is based out of usTwo’s London headquarters in Shoreditch.
“I love investing in people and helping to grow them and their projects,” Mills said. “Peering into a company and seeing what they’re doing is great.”
However, Mills advised startups to avoid taking on investment from venture capitalists if they can help it. “We don’t have any external investment at usTwo,” he said. “Stick away from it if you can,” he added, explaining that it will allow the founders to remain in control of their destiny.
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