Billionaire Nik Storonsky, the co-founder of Revolut, one of Europe’s largest and richest startups, plans to launch his own AI-based venture capital fund to compete with legacy venture capitalists.
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Nik Storonsky already has a lot of experience in the sector, having raised 1.8 billion dollars to create Revolut, the fintech that was valued at 33 billion dollars in July 2021.
With Russian ancestry, Nik Storonsky is now a British citizen, is convinced that the world of relationship-driven and clubby world venture capital is now obsolete and is about to come to a halt.
“Based on my experience as an entrepreneur for the last eight years I found VCs’ product pretty frustrating,” says Storonsky, whose stake in Revolut is worth $7.1 billion.
“In the bad times no one wants to invest, in the good times they all want to invest — so the lessons were that VCs are pretty unstable and there is some element of crowd mentality.”
Therefore, Storonsky has hired a team of six data scientists and engineers over the last year to mine LinkedIn, corporate filings and other databases to identify fast-growing startups. “I personally believe in having a model without having human judgment,” he says.
“Different people have different opinions, and this is how you end up with this crowd mentality.”
“I interviewed a lot of people from a lot of funds and they just use data sources to identify breakouts but this has nothing to do with machine learning,” Storonsky says. Storonsky plans to hire a CEO to head up the fund.
He says that exposure to the fund, and his existing angel investments, helped with his day job running Revolut. “I get all this new information about tech trends, who is doing what, this is actually my edge compared to traditional banking CEOs who are not part of the ecosystem,” he says.