Who We Are

Playfair Capital is a London based seed fund founded in 2011 by Federico Pirzio-Biroli. We invest in tenacious entrepreneurs building technology that generates a quantum leap in the way people live, work, and play for the better. Fundamentally, we want to invest in companies that matter. A core tenet of our ethos is to invest and work on a level playing field with our entrepreneurs. We partner closely with our teams to provide the financial, operational, and strategic support required to bring their visionary technologies to the world. We’ve backed companies across the UK, Europe, the US, and Africa. 

Federico Pirzio-Biroli Profile Image

Federico Pirzio-Biroli

Founding Partner & Chairman

Fede started out as an angel investor in 2010. His portfolio quickly grew, so he built a team around him and thus Playfair Capital was born. We have since gone on to become one of Europe’s most active and well-known early-stage VC funds. Before becoming a technology investor Fede worked for several NGOs in Africa, with a particular focus on aid transparency. He recently renewed his focus on Africa by relocating to Kenya and becoming an angel investor in East Africa’s burgeoning startup ecosystem. He maintains an active role at Playfair and continues to lead our investment team.

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Georgia Taylor Foster

Partner

Georgia previously worked at White & Case in mergers & acquisitions and equity capital markets, where she worked on a variety of cross border, multi sector transactions including in the technology and telecoms sectors. Seeing greener grass on the other side of the fence she left the corporate world to focus her talents on working with startups, particularly in the fashion e-commerce space.
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Joe Thornton

Investor & Head of Talent

Joe joined Playfair in early 2015 to lead our talent acquisition and engagement programmes. After spending three years finding and hiring exceptional people for Playfair’s portfolio companies, he made the move over to our investment team, where he remains active in sourcing new deals and working closely with our existing companies. 
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Joe Charlesworth

Venture Partner

Joe joined Playfair in 2013 and has led many of our key investments. His interests lie in B2B opportunities in SaaS and enterprise software, business automation, marketplaces and cryptocurrencies. Joe left his full time role at Playfair in 2017 to build PredictionVC, a blockchain project database used by investors all over the world. He remains a Venture Partner and continues to work with some of our companies and refer new investment opportunities to us.

We Look For

We look for entrepreneurs with the perseverance and raw ability to build global companies that are key players in their market. These are the characteristics we are looking for:

 

1. Inspirational Entrepreneurs

Great companies are managed by outstanding leaders. While there’s no one-sized fits all model to follow, we look for teams with creativity, unstoppable resilience, an insatiable desire to succeed, and adaptability in uncertain times. Ingenuity and curiosity, as well as the potential for growth, are important to us too. We invest in founders of all backgrounds, technical or not.

2. A Great Idea

We look for companies that have components of proprietary technology, network effects, economies of scale, and branding. Ideas that offer solutions to problems where the added value of the proposition is simply understood and unquestionable. While we prefer that entrepreneurs test their core hypotheses before we invest, we have invested pre-product where the opportunity is extremely compelling.

3. A Huge and Growing Market

We look for ideas that can be quickly scaled in global markets. Of course we look to invest in multi-billion dollar markets, but we also invest in markets that will grow by orders of magnitude as a result of the product or service built by the company we back.

4. Execution and Rollout

Having all the above is worthless without relentless execution. We look for entrepreneurs capable of identifying and delivering on set milestones and strategy to accelerate the company into a major global player.