Business partners Gareth Lewis and David Newman could see that wealthy private investors just weren’t getting access to the sort of investments they craved. The duo realised technology provided the answer. So they packed in their City jobs to launch Delio, in 2015, to help wealth management firms and private banks connect investors to these opportunities.
As the first in a new series of interviews with fast-growing tech businesses, I spoke to Gareth for some insights into how he had grown the brand in an increasingly competitive market.
Starting Delio was a massive risk.
I’d always had a passion for entrepreneurship. I moved back to South Wales, back in with my parents, and started from scratch. It felt like the gut instinct thing to do and an opportunity I would have regretted if I didn’t take it.
We tried to build the business the old-fashioned way.
By delivering good offerings to customers, rather than raising money hand over fist. But we’re growing quite aggressively and there’s a big opportunity to scale what we’re doing.
We very rarely say no to anything.
Even if we’re not sure of the longevity of a marketing strategy and the value of doing something, we’ll probably do it anyway as you never know what will happen. We’ll keep putting more resource into marketing – as that’s what is going to drive the business growth.
You can spend a lot of time taking on too much advice.
Sometimes you’ve got to go with your own views and gut instincts. It you take too much advice, it can often be conflicted, and you’ll find yourself stuck in the middle. It’s about getting the right kind of people around you and ensuring that the advice they give you is for the right reason.
Many investors want things they can touch, see and understand.
Such as fast growth businesses or real estate. We saw an opportunity with high net worth individuals from all walks of life – we’re not talking a smoking jacket and pipe mentality, but younger, increasingly entrepreneurial investors. Part of these clients’ investment appetite just wasn’t being serviced.
There’s a lot of bluster in the fintech industry.
A lot of people like to talk about it. There’s a lot of stakeholders hanging around the edge of it. But that hype and buzz has helped drive interest. Back in 2015, the approach was more about disintermediation of the traditional models, changing the way business is done and removing the existing players. But the market has changed very much and there is a bit less bluster and more behind-the-scenes collaboration. And banks are looking to work with fintech in a tangible way.
There are a lot of fintechs that are fintechs for fintech’s sake.
There will be consolidation. Fintech companies will have to combine with other businesses to be truly scalable. They’ll be forced to be more efficient. But there are also lots of companies out there that are doing things for the right reasons and truly innovating.
Gareth was speaking to Chris Marshall, editor at BrandContent. Get in touch if you are a tech entrepreneur and would like to be interviewed as part of this series.