Leif Capital is an independent British investment bank.
We are inspired by symbiosis in nature.
Large beasts and nimble birds can flourish together. But nature, like sustainable innovation, is also brutal and unforgiving.
We help our clients – beasts and birds - survive and prosper. All species of innovator are welcome.
We advise start-ups that need to raise capital, ‘grown-ups’ that want to invest capital and governments that want to support sustainable innovation.
Independent investment companies, corporate VCs and government innovation agencies seek our support in sourcing investments and co-investors.
All are united in seeking out profitable and impactful growth.
The common thread among the services we offer is our ability to align interests. Large corporations need to think like start-ups. Start-ups need to understand large corporations. Governments want to support start-ups and innovative corporations. Investors want financial and impactful returns. We find fertile ground among them.
If you need capital for growth, we will find you investors that provide expertise and access to markets, as well as money. The investor network available to our clients is global and draws upon our experience and success in Europe, North America, and Asia.
We differentiate between slow money, but slow money that is worth waiting for, and time-wasting “innovation tourists” who should be avoided.
We advise our clients not just on who they should be approaching, but how they should be approaching them; rigorously preparing them to answer all the questions that investors ask and should ask about financial and business models, technology, routes to market and exit strategies.
Private and public capital now has unprecedented appetite for investing in industrial sustainability. We seize this historic opportunity.
Innovation agencies, family offices, financial and corporate investment companies draw on our extensive knowledge of sustainable investment strategies among their actual and potential peer groups.
Our services – tailored to our clients’ needs - include benchmarking, sourcing of co-investors and deal-flow, execution and management of investments (including portfolio company acceleration and sale). Sometimes, we simply need to convene our investors, introduce them to each other, and explore the potential for collaboration.
Sometimes you just need to focus on winning and servicing clients. Raising or investing capital has already happened or can wait.
Leveraging our global network of corporations and service providers, we can quickly identify the best business models and the right routes to market.
Having clients, and a pipeline of potential clients, is typically the best foundation for raising and/or investing capital.
In our experience, the breakthroughs we’ve seen in mobility and energy are mostly underpinned by advances in materials. The path to Net Zero transport and power requires further material innovation combined with reliable and scalable manufacturing.
The science is clear, the market opportunity is accelerating and the transition to a net zero economy will provide excellent returns for investors. We are active from hydrogen to renewables to energy storage to carbon capture.
Mankind is on the move. Leif Capital works with companies who are delivering the new infrastructure, technology and business models needed for e-mobility - drones, autonomous vehicles, etc - and who are enabling the smart cities of the future.
Approximate isn’t good enough. We can’t think of a sustainable technology that isn’t advanced by ultra-precise manufacturing down to the micron level. From mirrors on satellites to solar thin film printer heads and windows on lunar dwellings, ultra-precise manufacturing is required.
Unless experience is refreshed by constant learning, it becomes prejudice. Our best qualification as advisors is our readiness to listen, engage and learn. We regularly meet with, and introduce, clients and colleagues, old and new. We drink the best coffee in London. Feel free to drop by.
Working alongside our clients’ media advisors, Leif Capital interviews client senior management and secures the interviews’ publication in investor media. Our CEO Tom Whitehouse also produces informative articles on our current projects and uploads them to our blog.
Leif Capital can also position its clients in ‘thought leadership’ reports that feature several of leading innovators (investors and venture-backed start-ups) in a particular ‘theme’ or investment category.
We also introduce and interview our clients at leading venture conferences (digital and ‘real’). Such ‘outreach’ helps reinforce the message with targeted investors. It may also help identify / ‘uncover’ new investors that had not previously been considered.
Founder and CEO
Tom Whitehouse has twenty years’ experience in the financing of early and growth stage sustainable technology businesses; in energy, materials and manufacturing, and investment management. He founded Leif Capital after a ten-year career as a foreign correspondent with the BBC and the Guardian. Since 2014 he has also been a senior advisor (energy and transport) and contributing editor at Global Corporate Venturing, the research and publishing business. Entrepreneurialism is in Tom’s blood. As a child, he worked for a series of successful family businesses in the brewing, gaming and greetings cards industries. He studied Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Oxford University; speaks Russian, Czech, bad French, and can swear quite well in Albanian.
Dr. Alex Westlake
Investor in Residence
Dr. Alex Westlake has over twenty years’ experience in founding and financing sustainable technology businesses Europe and Asia. He co-founded and led the £100m AIM IPO of Camco, a global emissions reductions business, and has raised over $1bn in project and carbon finance for over 1GW of renewable power (both wind and solar) across China. He is also Chairman of Microbas, a Swedish precision manufacturing business. Alex’s current portfolio of private investments is valued at more than $100m. Alex is a chartered Engineer with the UK’s Institution of Engineering and Technology, and has PhD in Wind Energy from Durham University.
Matthew Stamp joined Leif Capital in March 2021. Previously, he worked for a management consultancy. He studied Philosophy at Bristol University, where he was also a member of the Men's Rugby 2nd XV leadership squad in his final year. While completing his bachelor’s degree he also worked in the hospitality sector.
Tom is the communications dude, albeit with a very strong grasp of what makes technology ‘investable’. Alex is more the technology and investment dude, with very strong financial and commercial acumen. We’ve known each other for nearly 20 years. Matt has a fresh pair of eyes and supports us both. We will be announcing new members of the team shortly. If you’re keen to join, please let us know.
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