We set up Piton Capital having experienced first-hand the power of businesses based on network economics at Autotrader, Betfair and QXL Ricardo.

Fundamentally, such a company has a product or service that gets better the more people use it. The classic example is the telephone – not very useful for the first person owning it, but very powerful when everybody has one. The Internet has enabled a whole new range of sectors to organize around this principle. That is particularly true where large and fragmented user groups can now be connected.

This dynamic of a product or service getting better with more users leads to winner-takes-all markets, which sometimes plays out on a global level, like with Betfair or Skype, and sometimes locally, like with marketplaces where logistics, language, payment and trust play an important role.

We only invest in businesses that we believe have the potential to benefit from network effects. Unusually however, we are stage- and style-agnostic, and will invest from seed to late stage.

Why Piton?

Focused fund
At Auto Trader, Betfair and QXL Ricardo we were able to observe and understand the mechanisms by which a business can leverage a network to full potential and the ways in which they can build competitive advantage.This can lead to exhaustive selection, market depth and efficient pricing for users. Once past critical mass such businesses can be dominant, highly profitable and defensible.

Choosing network economics as the focus of our investments means that we contribute the most valuable part of our knowledge and experience to the right businesses. And this lets us continually learn and improve our input to the companies we invest in.

We are entrepreneurs
Entrepreneurship is a tough challenge. It takes a unique set of skills, knowledge and character traits to succeed. The journey can be a rollercoaster – exuberance one day and desperation the next.

We’ve been through the entire life cycle, from start-up to exit many times over, when we say “we understand”, we can back it up.

We recognise that good entrepreneurs are a rare breed, in many respects change agents who bring about economic and social progress. At Piton you will find a sense of camaraderie and respect for the entrepreneurial life. And it is a true privilege to work with clever, ambitious and motivated entrepreneurs, backing them to attain the commendable goals they have set themselves.

Aligned interests
We believe that entrepreneurs and investors make more thoughtful decisions when they invest their own money. More than 50% of capital in the current fund has been contributed by Piton’s general partners, advisory board members and their affiliated entities. For entrepreneurs this means that you work with investors who truly care and partner with you for the long haul.