Paula Groves, General Partner at Impact X accepted to be interviewed by UK Black Business Week. She shared her insights as a successfull Black Woman and why she endorses UK Black Business Week events.
Meet Paula Groves, General Partner at Impact X
What is your company all about and what makes it special?
”Impact X is a venture capital fund that invests in underrepresented entrepreneurs throughout Europe with a goal of generating outsized returns for its investors. I believe Impact X is about making society’s dreams come true. We are looking for that young Black female coder from Bristol who may not have even heard about venture capital but has a vision for a specialty app that can improve health outcomes for her community. We don’t believe that all the revolutionary wealth generating ideas come from folks that are born out of the Silicon Valley ecosystem in the United States. In fact, we believe society is not maximizing its value by solely relying on Silicon Valley for its investment superstars. Opportunities exist all around us, one just needs the skills and dedication to find the “Next Big Thing”. Europe and London are particularly fertile investment hunting grounds relative to the States because the market is young, vibrant and not quite as over-saturated.
Why is it so important for you to partner with and support the UK Black Business Week?
”The UK Black Business Week is like Cinderella’s Ball. It brings together and showcases the best and the brightest of the UK Black Business community which can lead to important partnerships, growth and meaningful contributions. In a highly charged intellectual environment, we can engage in thought-provoking conversations to solve existing problems together while simultaneously beginning to explore the new unknown. This type of convening is such an important way to ignite creativity. After isolating during Covid, I think we all crave these types of gatherings with like-minded individuals which can often lead us to dig deeper and find new ways to engage and be productive.
What sort of people are you most hoping to connect with during the week and/or at the show and why?
”I am an explorer seeking the diamond in the rough. I hope to find that special entrepreneur who seeks a partner to take their company to the next level. I am stimulated by conversations with those who have deep knowledge and specialised domain expertise and have had a breakthrough in designing a new solution for the world. If their solution is Cinderella’s glass slipper, I hope to invest in that slipper and create a European unicorn.
The UK Black Business Week takes place in Black History Month. Will you be doing anything special to celebrate this year?
”I am celebrating by speaking with you. Being a part of this conversation gives Impact X an opportunity to get the word out that we are here, we invest, and we are looking for you!
Name one of your favourite Black entrepreneurs or Black owned businesses in the UK and tell us why they inspire you?
”We at Impact X had the fortunate opportunity to invest in Marshmallow, the fintech insurance company that has recently become the UK’s second black unicorn. The deal was led by Yvonne Bajela, one of Impact X’s most highly seasoned and brilliant team members, who will be participating in your Black Finance Talks panel event. Marshmallow's co-CEOs who are twin brothers are superb entrepreneurs. Because of our investment, we have been able to look behind the curtain and see how they brought Marshmallow to unicorn status. Their execution was an alchemy of uncovering an underserved and hard-to-reach insurance market using data analytics to serve the market efficiently to provide lower cost insurance, deploy cash effectively during the harsh pandemic to stay the course, and leverage partnerships both between themselves as co-CEOs and their investors. If they could put their entrepreneurial expertise in a bottle, I would give it to every entrepreneur that I meet.