Seed Investing   |   Venture Capital |   Company Building

Entrepreneurial VC

What We Do Detailed Criteria
lean-about

About

A London-based seed fund, led by an entrepreneur who knows how hard startups are.
Targets big markets, and teams with traction who can build moats.
Helps with money, support, connections, and shared learning from other founders.

Who & What

Lean Investments covers the funds, syndicates and family interests of Tim Jackson.

Strategy

We invest in Internet and mobile startups with big ambitions and strong teams.

Deal Types

We’re usually the first professional money in. Typical rounds are £500K and $/€1m, but we can go lower.

Activities

We aim to lead rounds, take board seats, and be helpful minority investors.

 

key-statistics

Key Statistics

Some data on experience and portfolio
275

Board Meetings Attended 

243

Annual Walks In The Park

32

% Historic Return

25

Companies Live Now 

testimonials

Testimonials


  • Jan Erik Solem, Mapillary

    Tim joined as an investor in the first group of angel investors and has been very helpful. The first week he made one of the most important introductions to date, a potential customer who has been instrumental in our early company strategy. Tim is sharp and will give you a good sparring and ask the right/difficult questions. Get him onboard early if you can.

    Jan Erik Solem, Mapillary
  • Melissa Morris, Network Locum

    Tim invested in Network Locum and joined our Board in 2013. He has been an extremely positive force on our business and on both my co-founder and I as leaders. His obsession with testing every assumption has empowered us to try many things, led us to the right decisions and forced us to reflect on the wrong ones. Network Locum’s revenue has grown 700% since he joined and we are very proud to be working with him.

    Melissa Morris, Network Locum
  • Ivan Mazour, Ometria

    Awesome. I’d known him for many years and we’d coinvested in a number of companies and even been on the board of one together, so when I started Ometria I made a conscious effort to ensure we had him as an investor. There are few people able to analyse a strategic topic of discussion, dissect it, and come up with a valuable suggestion in quite the same way that Tim does. He is never afraid to challenge you, and will never let you get away with an argument that doesn’t stand up. Exactly what you need in an investor.

    Ivan Mazour, Ometria
  • Annika Erikson, Articheck

    An investor supermensch, bringing everything you want to the table: cash, top drawer contacts, mentoring, strategic thinking, great ideas and enthusiasm. Highly organised and well connected, because of Tim I had 35 investor pitches in 1 month, and closed a round of funding in record time. He doesn’t pull any punches when things are going wrong, and can’t praise you enough when you’ve done good. I’m privileged to have Tim as my Chairman at Articheck.

    Annika Erikson, Articheck
  • James O'Day, Pearlshare

    Tim is one of the most thoughtful and helpful angel investors I have come across in London. He always asks the insightful, incisive questions that get to the heart of the issue. Regardless of whether or not he is an investor, he is more than willing to help, providing thoughtful suggestions and helpful connections. Unlike so many others, he plays “the long game”, maintaining an interesting and diverse network. A delight to work with, I always feel I have learned something profound from our conversations.

    James O'Day, Pearlshare
  • Jamie Carruthers, Hands HQ

    Tim has been involved in our business from the very beginning, and we’ve been extremely lucky to benefit from his seemingly endless network of great people… Tim introduced us to some of the most active investors in London, and his vote of confidence meant we closed our round quickly and smoothly. Tim is now on our board, and I look forward to our meetings as an opportunity to discuss not only day to day, but big strategic decisions, which Tim offers invaluable insights in to. As you might be able to tell, I can’t recommend Tim highly enough.

    Jamie Carruthers, Hands HQ
  • Nicholas d'Adhemar, Apperio

    Tim is well known on the startup scene and one of the most astute investors out there. As well as having an eye for spotting the ‘next big thing’ his interest and help doesn’t stop at the point of investment. Whether it’s ad hoc advice or running sales training workshops for his portfolio companies, Tim is always looking to do more and to help.

    Nicholas d'Adhemar, Apperio
  • Timothy Sadler, CheckRecipient

    For any startup, working with investors should be about more than just an injection of capital. Since joining the team in March 2014, Tim has transformed our company by bringing on-board a wealth of expertise that’s enabled us to dramatically improve our efforts across sales, marketing and product development. Unlike so many other investors, Tim takes a hands-on, active approach to help companies both solve problems and create opportunities.

    Timothy Sadler, CheckRecipient
  • William Roberts, Loyalty Bay

    One of our first investors, Tim has been extremely helpful along the way. He acts as a sounding board and matchmaker extraordinaire (potential clients, VC’s, hires). He always takes the time to really understand the issue at hand, so that he can offer intelligent and constructive feedback, which is invaluable. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Tim to anyone lucky enough to get him as a potential investor.

    William Roberts, Loyalty Bay
  • Srin Madipalli, Accomable

    He’s incredibly smart and insightful in his analysis of a given situation; and is able to combine that ability with a very human level of empathy, understanding and sensitivity. I believe that Tim has these skills because he is an investor who has also been a successful entrepreneur; and who knows what it is like to take a risk to build and scale a company. Having investors who know first hand how tough it can be to start a company makes a huge difference as it provides a very practical source of knowledge and experience. To my fellow entrepreneurs …get in touch with Tim as he is someone you want with you in the startup trenches!

    Srin Madipalli, Accomable
  • Odera Ume-Ezeoke, Viewsy

    Carefully considered and remarkably thoughtful, he offers his time and insights generously whilst delivering sage advice drawn from his years of experience as a successful entrepreneur of note, investor with a unique approach and mentor to many, including myself. Definitely one of the best minds I’ve come across in the space, and one of the safest pair of hands to have directing your money into tech investments. Work and invest with him if you get the opportunity.

    Odera Ume-Ezeoke, Viewsy
  • Jan Erik Solem, Mapillary

    Tim joined as an investor in the first group of angel investors and has been very helpful. The first week he made one of the most important introductions to date, a potential customer who has been instrumental in our early company strategy. Tim is sharp and will give you a good sparring and ask the right/difficult questions. Get him onboard early if you can.

    Jan Erik Solem, Mapillary
  • Melissa Morris, Network Locum

    Tim invested in Network Locum and joined our Board in 2013. He has been an extremely positive force on our business and on both my co-founder and I as leaders. His obsession with testing every assumption has empowered us to try many things, led us to the right decisions and forced us to reflect on the wrong ones. Network Locum’s revenue has grown 700% since he joined and we are very proud to be working with him.

    Melissa Morris, Network Locum
  • Ivan Mazour, Ometria

    Awesome. I’d known him for many years and we’d coinvested in a number of companies and even been on the board of one together, so when I started Ometria I made a conscious effort to ensure we had him as an investor. There are few people able to analyse a strategic topic of discussion, dissect it, and come up with a valuable suggestion in quite the same way that Tim does. He is never afraid to challenge you, and will never let you get away with an argument that doesn’t stand up. Exactly what you need in an investor.

    Ivan Mazour, Ometria
  • Annika Erikson, Articheck

    An investor supermensch, bringing everything you want to the table: cash, top drawer contacts, mentoring, strategic thinking, great ideas and enthusiasm. Highly organised and well connected, because of Tim I had 35 investor pitches in 1 month, and closed a round of funding in record time. He doesn’t pull any punches when things are going wrong, and can’t praise you enough when you’ve done good. I’m privileged to have Tim as my Chairman at Articheck.

    Annika Erikson, Articheck
  • James O'Day, Pearlshare

    Tim is one of the most thoughtful and helpful angel investors I have come across in London. He always asks the insightful, incisive questions that get to the heart of the issue. Regardless of whether or not he is an investor, he is more than willing to help, providing thoughtful suggestions and helpful connections. Unlike so many others, he plays “the long game”, maintaining an interesting and diverse network. A delight to work with, I always feel I have learned something profound from our conversations.

    James O'Day, Pearlshare
  • Jamie Carruthers, Hands HQ

    Tim has been involved in our business from the very beginning, and we’ve been extremely lucky to benefit from his seemingly endless network of great people… Tim introduced us to some of the most active investors in London, and his vote of confidence meant we closed our round quickly and smoothly. Tim is now on our board, and I look forward to our meetings as an opportunity to discuss not only day to day, but big strategic decisions, which Tim offers invaluable insights in to. As you might be able to tell, I can’t recommend Tim highly enough.

    Jamie Carruthers, Hands HQ
  • Nicholas d'Adhemar, Apperio

    Tim is well known on the startup scene and one of the most astute investors out there. As well as having an eye for spotting the ‘next big thing’ his interest and help doesn’t stop at the point of investment. Whether it’s ad hoc advice or running sales training workshops for his portfolio companies, Tim is always looking to do more and to help.

    Nicholas d'Adhemar, Apperio
  • Timothy Sadler, CheckRecipient

    For any startup, working with investors should be about more than just an injection of capital. Since joining the team in March 2014, Tim has transformed our company by bringing on-board a wealth of expertise that’s enabled us to dramatically improve our efforts across sales, marketing and product development. Unlike so many other investors, Tim takes a hands-on, active approach to help companies both solve problems and create opportunities.

    Timothy Sadler, CheckRecipient
  • William Roberts, Loyalty Bay

    One of our first investors, Tim has been extremely helpful along the way. He acts as a sounding board and matchmaker extraordinaire (potential clients, VC’s, hires). He always takes the time to really understand the issue at hand, so that he can offer intelligent and constructive feedback, which is invaluable. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Tim to anyone lucky enough to get him as a potential investor.

    William Roberts, Loyalty Bay
  • Srin Madipalli, Accomable

    He’s incredibly smart and insightful in his analysis of a given situation; and is able to combine that ability with a very human level of empathy, understanding and sensitivity. I believe that Tim has these skills because he is an investor who has also been a successful entrepreneur; and who knows what it is like to take a risk to build and scale a company. Having investors who know first hand how tough it can be to start a company makes a huge difference as it provides a very practical source of knowledge and experience. To my fellow entrepreneurs …get in touch with Tim as he is someone you want with you in the startup trenches!

    Srin Madipalli, Accomable
  • Odera Ume-Ezeoke, Viewsy

    Carefully considered and remarkably thoughtful, he offers his time and insights generously whilst delivering sage advice drawn from his years of experience as a successful entrepreneur of note, investor with a unique approach and mentor to many, including myself. Definitely one of the best minds I’ve come across in the space, and one of the safest pair of hands to have directing your money into tech investments. Work and invest with him if you get the opportunity.

    Odera Ume-Ezeoke, Viewsy
approach

Approach

Working style

Personal, not committee. Thinking like startups. Distributed teams; lots of SAAS. Helping across a specific range of activities. Supportive relationships. Learn more

Criteria

We care about the team, the traction you’ve achieved so far, the size of the market you’re addressing, and the entry barriers you can create. Learn more

Stage and size

Our sweet-spot is investment rounds of £1m/€1m, where we lead by taking half the round and bringing in value-adding coinvestors. Learn more

Investment process

Moving fast. Seeking only the minimal info we need to get to the next stage. Simple term sheets and investment documentation. Doing due diligence as a team. Learn more

lean-team

Lean Team

Tim Jackson

Tim runs Lean Investments, and has been an active early-stage investor since 2000 and an advisor and non-executive director to a number of private companies. He served as managing director of a $700m European technology venture fund at the Carlyle Group, a US private equity firm. Formerly he was founder and CEO of QXL, which went to IPO on the Nasdaq and the London Stock Exchange and was sold in 2007 for $1.9 billion. He wrote a weekly technology column for the Financial Times for seven years, was a staff writer for The Economist and The Independent. He studied philosophy, politics and economics at Merton College, Oxford, and is the author of three business books. Tim lives in London, and has four children with the painter Emily Marbach.
Team Members
Max Mersch
James Palmer
Mira Mihaylova
James Routledge
Farid Ul Haque
portfolio

Portfolio