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

About Us


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.

The new order

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 leading 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. 

The recovery that followed truly ushered in 'the age of the entrepreneur'. Founders became the new superheroes of our time. Investors no longer wanted to work through corporate finance intermediaries during early-stage financings. They wanted direct access to develop close relationships and become more closely involved in the startup to scaleup journey.

It was clear that the process of raising early-stage capital needed rethinking.

Startup to Scaleup advisory

Whilst fundraising was always the ultimate goal, we knew right from the start that the classic transactional support offered by traditional corporate finance firms was not going to be enough. With increasing fall-out rates from Seed to Series A to Series B and beyond, founders were already searching for ways to beat the odds. To cross the chasm. 

This gave us our purpose.

A critical requirement was to be able to support founders from the moment they began considering the next stage of funding – way before any investor pitch had been mapped out. And we needed to be flexible, as different founders require different levels of support through the funding process.

This led to providing Investment Analysis as a stand-alone service, designed to help founders build winning funding strategies. The process begins by identifying the most appropriate sources of capital based on stage, sector and business model, then uses this insight to stress-test and improve the investment proposition. We have now undertaken dozens of these projects to great acclaim. 

At the beginning we set up to provide complete project management support through the entire fundraising process, taking on the funding mandate based on a retainer plus success fee model.

But now founders don't want a fully managed campaign at early stage. They want to manage the campaign themselves and be seen to be doing so by investors. To address this need, we introduced 'The Guided Fundraise' where we assist founders through all the funding preparation and execution phases with behind the scenes support. 

A vital ingredient in our work is global investment research. This is required at every stage of the process from investment preparation to campaign execution. We employ the very latest and most sophisticated datasets to sift and analyse investors (as well as their investee companies) to a level of detail that still surprises most founders.

Having now worked with almost 60 founders on a wide variety of funding preparation and execution projects, we have accumulated a wealth of insight. One third of these projects have been with serial founders. The insights gained have since helped us create our first-time founder coaching program, 'Founder to Funder'.

We now advise founders through the entire funding cycle, from early planning (Founder to Funder), to detailed investment preparation (Investment Analysis), and on to live campaigns (The Guided Fundraise).
Links to the US market

We have maintained strong links with the US as we believed right from the start that cross-border funding and M&A activity would be of increasing importance to UK Tech companies. 

Very early on we established a key relationship with Harvest Management Partners, a Silicon Valley based M&A advisor. This provides a unique bridge into the North American market.