"There is too much money being thrown against the wall": Exigent launches evergreen fund Bright Minds Capital
Legal outsourcing provider Exigent is leading the launch of an evergreen fund to help early-stage startups in legal and data technology, which it says is in the business of leveraging real skills and experience rather than ‘throwing money up against a wall and hoping for the best.’
Bright Minds Capital Partners (“BMCP”) will focus on startups in the AI, blockchain and big data management applications space and says it will provide not just capital, but also leadership and sector expertise to start-ups specialising in legal technology and services, data extraction, corporate data management, and optimisation.
It has a subscriber base that can opt into investments that BMCP recommends to them. Exigent, which CEO David Holme tells us has a surplus of cash from a successful few years, will cornerstone each investment.
One of the first investments in the fund’s portfolio is Lexchain, an immigration compliance automation tool using the latest distributed blockchain ledger technology.
The fund’s founders include Holme, who says in an eight-minute video on YouTube (worth a watch, particularly if you also believe that too much money is being sloshed into the startup sector): “There’s a massive gap between having a great idea and having the technology available to you and making it into a business the people want to buy or work with. That involves some old fashioned skills like selling and marketing. The idea can be as brilliant as you like but the execution is where Bright Minds helps you. We take those ideas once they get beyond a certain stage and turn them into real cash with real profit instead of them just staying as clever ideas.
“If you look at the VC industry today there is too much money being thrown at the wall and hoping for the best and that feels like the 1980s. This is not the right way forward. When you consider the legal services tech space I fear too much money is being burned on the wrong things. The multiples of some of these investments are completely unsustainable.
“We’re the guys that do it ourselves and are prepared to apply our skills to help management teams get past hurdles two three and four, and I would say the hurdles keep coming. We’re appealing to ambitious managers who want to leverage our skillset, as well as our money.
“There are very few funds out there with the level of maturity that we have and the level of experience in building these businesses that we have hands-on, day in day out.”
The fund should not be confused with Bright Minds Capital in Hong Kong, which Holme says focuses on Asia and does not present an issue for a company focussed on the UK and North American markets.
That video is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1BGZauk-HKs