Felix Capital, the London-based VC firm which backs digital creative and lifestyle businesses, says “this year has been quite a year”.

After all, the pandemic has nudged many of us towards adopting a more ‘digital lifestyle’ (whether we like it or not) and that has been no bad thing for the Felix portfolio, which includes vegan meal delivery startup allplants, escooter operator Dott, home decor website Lick, mental wellbeing app Unmind and fitness company Peloton.

“The transformation of lifestyle through tech has been fast-forwarded,” says Frederic Court, partner at Felix.

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After raising a new $300m fund in January, it has also expanded its team. It’s brought on two new investors; Angela Chou, formerly working in product at Facebook; and Joseph Pizzolato, previously at growth equity fund Vitruvian Partners.

In what could be the start of a new series, Sifted meets the new VCs on the block.

Angela Chou, investor, Felix Capital

Twitter: @angelalchou

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/angelalchou/

Medium: @angelalchou

What stage and sector(s) are you focused on?

I cover ecommerce, brands and consumer subscription apps at the Series A stage. At Felix, we are fascinated by the brands that are community-centric, especially those that form a genuine connection with millennial and Gen Z audiences. 

You’ve previously worked on the operational side of things. What do you think will be useful about that experience when it comes to investing?

At Facebook, I often had multiple ongoing projects that required very different types of thinking and attention. My biggest learning was definitely how to prioritise. In the Facebook office, we had these “Ruthless Prioritisation” posters hanging everywhere as a constant reminder. 

Similarly, when it comes to investing, everyday we get caught between sourcing, live deals, portfolio management and many other things, so it’s even more important to prioritise when everything is P0! 

How would you describe your relationship with founders you work with?

I think my style is influenced by my time at McKinsey — in a good way! I really enjoy being an advisor and a sounding board to the founders I work with. I find it most fulfilling when founders come to me with their toughest and most honest questions, because I enjoy the process of figuring it out with them together. 

How can founders get in touch with you — and which founders shouldn’t bother?

Please email me at [email protected]! I’ll speak to anyone who believes in the power of creativity.

What do you need to learn more about? Be honest.

A lot of things! At the moment I’m learning to be present. With meeting so many new people and businesses during the past weeks, I find myself constantly on my phone and constantly thinking, so I’m making the conscious effort to be present — both at work and with family and friends. 

Name one European company you think is absolutely nailing it — and explain why.

I’m truly impressed by [shoe brand] Veja! They have created a sizeable sustainable fashion movement in Europe and the rest of the world. I’m inspired by the branding, transparency and the product-obsessed founders. 

Name one European startup leader you rate really highly — and explain why.

To be honest I haven’t come across many startup leaders in Europe that look like me. I’m by no meaning to say that there is no one I rate highly, in fact the opposite! But it’s instinctive for all of us to notice and look up to people who look like ourselves. 

“To be honest I haven’t come across many startup leaders in Europe that look like me.”

This is why it’s important for those of us in the European startup community to make D&I a priority, and to foster the next generation of founders — something on my personal agenda! 

I seem to have worked at the same place at the same time as Anya Cheng, but never actually met her. Anya is a Taiwanese American startup mentor, advisor and product visionary based in San Francisco. I admire her for creating a dialogue and platform to provide guidance to students and young professionals in Asia who are interested in pursuing a career in tech, a somehow less travelled path based on today’s education system.  

Give us one newsletter, podcast and book recommendation.

I’ve been enjoying the Vogue Business Sustainability edit by Rachel Cernansky. The Business of Fashion podcasts are my go-to during commutes. I learned about resilience through reading In Order to Live: A North Korean Girl’s Journey to Freedom by Yeonmi Park – a true inspiration! 

Joseph Pizzolato, investor, Felix Capital

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/joseph-pizzolato/

Medium: @joseph.pizzolato (content coming soon!)

How did you get into venture — and why?

I’ve been part of the investing ecosystem for almost 10 years now, and lucky enough to see the full spectrum — from large-cap advisory to growth investing and cofounding a business with my partner. My passion for investing has always revolved around helping entrepreneurs achieve their dreams, and venture is the perfect place to do that. 

What stage and sector(s) are you focused on?

I think we are still in the early days of the digital revolution and there is huge potential for further innovation in software and fintech (also the two areas I’m most passionate about and focused on). As thematic investors at Felix we are lucky to have flexibility on investment stage. We tend to invest early (Series A+) but also participate in later growth rounds. 

Convince me that SaaS isn’t boring.

How could anyone think this! 

SaaS is a hotbed for innovation and responsible for many things we take for granted in our lives.”

SaaS is a hotbed for innovation and responsible for many things we take for granted in our lives. Want to talk to someone on the other side of the world, thank Zoom. Need instant communications with your team, thank Slack. Want to start your own business — hello Shopify! Marc [Andreessen] nailed it when he said software is eating the world, and I think there is still a lot left on the plate. 

What was the hiring process like at Felix?

Can I say balanced? Felix is a family and everyone here adds to the whole. It wasn’t just about showcasing investor skills, or entrepreneurial spirit, but being a rounded individual and team player.

How can founders get in touch with you — and which founders shouldn’t bother?

I’m pretty relaxed with communications. Email is probably the best ([email protected]) but I’m also active on LinkedIn and WhatsApp. I’m happy to chat to any founder with big ambitions.

You’ve previously worked in later-stage investing. What do you think will be useful about that experience when it comes to investing at an earlier stage?

Focusing on later-stage has let me work with some of the biggest and brightest emerging companies from around the world, and see what has worked for them. Hopefully, I can apply this knowledge to help earlier stage companies as they take the same journey. 

How would you describe your relationship with founders you work with?

Collaborative and informal. It is always a partnership where we are working together towards a common goal — success! Founders should feel like they can pick up the phone or email me at any time.

What do you need to learn more about? Be honest.

I’d love to learn even more about the intricacies of the tech stack. Am also struggling to learn Bulgarian (to help better communicate with my fiancée’s family)

Name one European company you think is absolutely nailing it — and explain why.

It’s hard to look past Revolut at the moment, from a sheer growth plus scale plus vision perspective.

Give us one newsletter, podcast and book recommendation.

These are going to sound really cliché VC, but I love Fred Wilson’s newsletter and Masters of Scale podcast, both for information and inspiration. Recently finished reading Talking to Strangers by Malcolm Gladwell and have already recommended it to my friends!

Did you like this feature? If so, let us know which other VCs you’d like us to speak to — and what questions we should ask them.