01 begin capital
If Alex was asked why did you choose the profession of a venture investor? He would answer: What else could I do? Sometimes you have to stop thinking so much and go where your heart takes you. We believe that Alex’s heart is somewhere between AI and Software, albeit his soul and body actively approaching FoodTech. :o:
Alex is not able to sit still and wait for new opportunities, but proactively creates them. For 15 years in private equity and venture capital investments, he took part in more than 50 transactions with a total volume of over $3.5 billion. Alex's strengths include: structuring deals, finding new opportunities, finance, strategy and sales.
To charm Alex, the project needs strong and unique leaders, tested and digitized hypotheses, and a vision of the team on a long horizon (Alex's planning horizon is rumored to be the longest in history). Unlike most VCs, Alex loves to read long letters and study detailed decks from the founders.
Alex is passionate about Begin and our portfolio 24/7, except when his favorite football team is playing. But we are very lucky that they lose all the time and have few matches per year.
Before dedicating his life to venture capital Ruslan tried himself in all other roles: startup founder, corporate and strategy consultant. Now, two facts he knows for sure: “VC is the best job in the world” and “being a startup founder is awesome, but freaking hard!”
To make founders’ life somewhat easier Ruslan is always happy to share his experience. From building sales teams in US and China to raising $50m+ investment rounds. Prior to Begin Ruslan spent 5 years with Runa Capital where he worked with awesome startups like Mambu, NGINX, and Brainly.
Ruslan is passionate about partnering with entrepreneurs who are focused on building product-driven companies and share Ruslan’s love of excel. You can melt his heart with deep industry knowledge and 5-years product plan.
If you can’t reach out to Ruslan, it is probably because he got lost while exploring jungles in India or national parks in Africa. He also used to sail the ocean and freeride in mountains, but his skills were so poor that his wife wisely banned all life threatening activities.
Like most people in VC, Joel loves to travel and experience new places and cultures, and has a few hype sports in his back-pocket. But did you know, his real passion is for flowers and beer?
Indeed, being the Dutchie of Begin Capital, Joel can usually be found biking around London looking for his favourite tulips.
Other than that, he has a special interest in Consumer Tech, B2B SaaS and B2C propositions – but if your idea is disrupting a traditional market or breaking open a new market he will take a break from the bike lane to check it out. Wondering how to best approach a man driven by flower power? The best way is to be as direct as possible: the Dutch don’t mince their words.
Joel’s diverse professional experiences enable him to look at a venture from various perspectives. The founder’s perspective, having co-founded Elfi a disruptive company within the Dutch real estate market, he has gotten to know first-hand the growing pains of scaling up. The investors perspective, working at Slingshot Ventures a Dutch consumer-tech focused VC fund. The financier’s perspective, from his Investment Banking experience at Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Deutsche Bank. Joel loves getting into the nitty-gritty of excel sheets, and takes a practical, no-nonsense approach to analysis, but his favourite part of VC is building relationships with founders. So reach out for a trademark Heineken-pitchdeck session!
"Shut up and take my money!" thought Saagar when he learnt that being in VC was a viable career option.
Who in their right mind would pass on the opportunity to bring the sci-fi and tech from your favourite books, movies, and comics to reality? Definitely not him.
Saagar has always had an affinity for technical challenges: he spent well over a decade imagining, solving, and then building the solutions to some of the hardest financial and technical problems he could lay his hands on. His career took him from working at an InsurTech scaleup, to being a Buy-Side Technologist at a FinTech, to being a VC where he led >15 deals prior to joining Begin.
If you are solving a large and challenging technical issue and trying to re-shape the way humans and technology interact then Saagar's your guy. If you can combine that vision with a dash of cyberpunk aesthetic, boom, winner winner chicken dinner!
When Saagar is not busy with start-ups, you can find him watching/listening/reading everything he can about movies, playing classic tactical RPGs, while blasting rap, metal, and jazz (to the annoyance of the team).