Head of Channel 4 Ventures
Vinay joined Channel 4 to set up Channel 4 Ventures (then known as the Commercial Growth Fund) in 2015. He is a digital and early stage company expert, with deep experience gained working for global media companies in investments and strategic business development prior to Channel 4.
Why is brand marketing important to you?
- I am fascinated why humans, all of whom are consumers, make decisions or choices. I think the greatest consumer companies not only deliver products and services at great prices, but also make their consumers “feel good” too. Great brands occupy a space in people’s minds, and TV can help that too.
How is the Channel 4 Ventures model different to other investment models?
- Our investment model is truly unique. We provide capital in premium awareness-led marketing channels, that very few cash investors in Europe are willing to support today.
What advice would you give for successful media-led investments?
- There are four things that are really important to get right:
- Timing – sometimes this is done either too early, or it isn’t linked to other marketing strategies. It’s really important to time the investment well and to be operationally ready for higher traffic than normal, and to track longer term impacts generally.
- Creative – a strong impactful creative can make a lot of difference. You need to get under the skin of the category.
- Volume – to truly see the impacts of ‘awareness channels’, you need to spend higher volumes than traditional digital or acquisition budgets; this is contrarian but my experience supports this.
- Data and tracking – it is very easy to track short-term revenue KPIs, but companies should also look at the broader impacts of a TV campaign. For example, higher awareness drives higher levels of trust, results in higher branded traffic, resulting in lower cost-per-click costs.
What was the first tech product you bought?
- A Commodore 64. Classic.
What is something that digital disintermediation can’t touch?
- A good artisan sausage.
Isabella joined the team in 2020. Prior to this, she had ten years experience in corporate development and investments at online and traditional media companies, most recently with Rocket Internet, Delivery Hero & foodpanda. Isabella graduated with First Class Honours from Edinburgh University.
Hannah joined the team in 2019. She joined Channel 4 Ventures from PwC Strategy&, where she had been a strategy consultant for large corporates and private-equity houses such as Permira, CVC and TPG, specialising in the technology, media and education sectors. Hannah holds a BA from the University of Cambridge.
What you do you ideally look in an investment?
- In addition to a strong management team and great product, I like to see two things: a strong brand that really reflects the company’s values and that resonates with consumers; and brands that offer products or services that have mass appeal throughout the UK. Both help to ensure that a TV campaign is successful.
What is your favourite consumer company you currently use?
- I’ve been an Oddbox subscriber for a year and really love it. They deliver surplus vegetables and fruit to subscribers every week that would have otherwise gone to waste. Other than that, I also use Stitch Fix, a personal styling service, which is great because I don’t really like shopping!
What is the best TV advert you’ve seen recently?
- The best advert I’ve seen recently (excluding our portfolio) is from Chilly’s, a water bottle producer. It tells a brilliant story, is really funny, and has a conclusion that really drives home the message of the advertising campaign: “Don’t overthink it this Christmas”.
John joined the team in 2021 from EY-Parthenon where he worked as a strategy consultant, advising large corporates and private equity investors on corporate strategy and commercial M&A advisory across TMT, Education, Energy and Natural Resources sectors. John holds a Bsc in Mathematics and Computer Science from the University of Warwick.
Lucinda joined Channel 4 Ventures from Sia Partners, where she was a Manager in the Growth and Innovation team specialised in corporate venturing and strategy consultancy. At Sia, Lucinda’s role was sector agnostic, looking at everything from how to commercialise novel quantum technologies in new markets, to scaling a high growth consumer COVID testing business internationally.
Lucinda started her career in corporate and investment banking at HSBC where she covered some of the largest companies in the world. Lucinda holds a First Class Honours degree in Economics and Philosophy from the University of Nottingham. In her spare time, Lucinda is an avid foodie, dancer and hiker.