Duet Partners
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7416 6630 / Email: partners@duetpartners.com

About Us

Founders

Jonathan Lees

Jonathan has been a Chartered Accountant since 1982. As CFO of RadioScape Ltd, he developed a close working relationship with John, prior to joining forces again to create Duet Partners in 2009.

Jonathan also has extensive experience with listed businesses. He has been CFO of Forbidden Technologies plc, successfully raising £10 million of new capital, and CFO of DCS Group, a FTSE 250 International Systems and Outsourcing Company. As CFO of Eidos plc, he managed the reverse acquisition and subsequent integration of Centregold plc (Tomb Raider), and the Company’s dual listing on NASDAQ. As CFO of First Artist Corporation plc, he led the global sports management agency through a successful IPO.

Since co-founding Duet Jonathan has undertaken several interim FD roles for VC and private equity funded clients during critical periods of transition, as well as creating dozens of financial models for businesses across multiple sectors.

John Hall

Prior to co-founding Duet, John was CEO of VC-backed RadioScape Ltd, a pioneer in DAB radio broadcast and consumer products, completing multiple rounds of funding over 7 years before selling the business in 2009.

John previously worked for US tech companies for over 20 years. He established the European operations of MIPS Technologies Inc., a leading semiconductor IP company, in 2000. As General Manager of the Digital IC division of Cadence Design Systems Inc., based in Silicon Valley, he led the business through its most significant growth phase in the 1990’s, developing a global team and generating $250M in annual revenues.

John brings extensive commercial and international business building expertise to client relationships. He has advised dozens of founders on the startup to scaleup journey and is a retained Board advisor to a number of UK technology companies.

Our Story

With only 1 in 5 startups making it to Series A, and half of these failing to progress to Series B, it was clear that the process of raising early stage capital needed rethinking.

We set up Duet Partners in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis. It was clear that the funding world had been turned on its head, bringing with it immense challenges - but also opportunity, as the new order emerged.

With first hand experience of managing high growth Tech businesses in the UK and Silicon Valley for over two decades, we could immediately relate to the uncertainty CEO’s were facing in this increasingly risk-averse investment climate. It was clear that the process of raising early stage capital needed rethinking, both for the funds as well as for investee companies. 

Right from the start, we invested heavily in the most advanced investment research – a product itself of the Big Data revolution then occurring. This in-depth market intelligence has become a cornerstone of our unique approach, enabling clients to rapidly analyse investment comparators, hone investor propositions, and unearth some unusual sources of global capital for the new era.

We have maintained strong links with the US as we believed cross-border funding and M&A activity would be of increasing importance to UK Tech companies. Very early on we established an important relationship with Harvest Management Partners a Silicon Valley based M&A advisor, and this provides a unique bridge into the North American market.
As veterans of the Tech sector we have worked across the entire food chain from IP licensing, product development & manufacturing, to pure software and services. From running major divisions of Tech corporates to our own startups, we have worked at the coal face and have real empathy for the challenges entrepreneurs face.

Our most profound insight has come from our early research into why startups succeed. The 20% progressing to Series A had some common traits. Most significant was that many were led by serial entrepreneurs or CEOs that had surrounded themselves with early stage experience. 

These companies deeply understood the value of planning, appreciating that the funding strategy and business strategy at early stage are necessarily interwoven and must be developed together. This knowledge laid the foundation for our funding methodology and the development of Investment Analysis.

Our ethos is based on a collaborative approach, a flexible engagement model, and a deep understanding of what enables startups to develop into successful businesses. The startup to scaleup journey is unlike any other period in the development of a company and helping make this a success has become our passion.
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