This study examines the early stage investment activity of UK serial investors, individuals who have made at least three private investments. Two distinct groups emerged; one which invested on their own all the time ("solo serial investors") and the other which invested with others almost exclusively ("syndicate serial investors"). Both groups had invested in a variety of industrial sectors, a majority of which were in sectors where no one in the investor group had previous direct experience. Concept familiarity appeared to be a necessary, albeit insufficient, prerequisite to the decision to invest. For a majority of the investments reviewed for both groups, the investor(s) backed individuals personally known to them, to another syndicate member, and/or to the deal referrer. When the linkage to performance is explored, both solo and syndicate serial investors are well advised to back entrepreneurs known to a least one member of the investor group.

JEL Codes

G24, M13, G31


Serial Investors, Early Stage Finance