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Simon Glass (MBA 1999), Founder of qodeo

The global venture community has traditionally relied on historic data when deciding what to back. But qodeo, the company founded by Simon Glass (MBA 1999), aims to change that, and take that information real-time.

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Whether you’re a venture capitalist seeking to invest, or an entrepreneur looking for that investment, relevant data is key – on everything from performance to profitability. But it’s not always easy to find.

“Corporate finance is very much forward-focused – how you’re going to get your business to grow,” explains Simon Glass, founder of qodeo, which provides tools and real-time data for the global venture community. “But while the world now works around social media, interactive, real-time data with much more of a forward focus, most systems out there are focused on historic reports. There wasn’t a product to look to the future, and that’s where we come in.”

qodeo is a cloud-based toolkit which tracks and gathers data from around 15,000 organisations globally. This includes 1,500 venture capital and private equity firms, which represent around £500bn worth of funds under management.

That vital data is pulled from a variety of sources, from publicly available figures to in-depth interviews with tracked companies, which provide a rich and unique source of information. For example, a recent research project run in partnership with Cambridge Judge Business School used interviews with major players to investigate investment opportunities for London-based venture capital and private equity firms. Businesses are also encouraged to update their own data, LinkedIn-style, ensuring that everything’s as up-to-date as possible.

“So, for example, if you’re a company in the UK and you want to find out who’s funding your kind of service or product in Silicon Valley, you can use our search tool to find that out,” explains Glass. “Likewise if you want to find out which companies venture capital firms have invested in, or if you’re a venture capital firm looking for another similar firm to syndicate with.”

qodeo began with just one investor, a contact Glass had made in his previous position as head of business at Westpac Institutional Bank (Western Australia), who inquired why Glass was sending so many late-night emails. When told about qodeo, says Glass, “he was in.” There are now 16 global investors and the company is starting a new round of funding.

The beta version of qodeo’s toolkit launched in November 2013. Currently free to use, it will start charging for premium services next year and is now averaging about 2,500 page views and 10,700 Twitter page impressions per month.

The idea draws from several aspects of Glass’s varied career. After graduating from St Catharine’s College, Cambridge in 1989, he ran charity rock concerts and an arts and media production company. 10 years later, in 1999, he wanted “a change of gear”, which took him to Cambridge Judge Business School and an MBA, which he completed in 2000.

Following that, he took on roles at Amadeus Capital Partners in Cambridge before moving to Perth, Western Australia, where he taught entrepreneurship, innovation and strategy at the University of Western Australia Business School. In 2006, he joined Westpac Institutional Bank before leaving in 2012 to work on qodeo full-time.

“Building a globally scaleable business is a challenge,” says Glass. “Costs are high. Finding talent is hard. Compared to being an employee in the corporate world, it’s scary. But it’s also incredibly exciting.”

Simon is interested in hearing from …

… CJBS students who would like to get involved in qodeo’s research projects, entrepreneurs, potential investors, corporate advisors, venture capital and private equity firms who are interested in using qodeo’s products.

CJBS alumni, students and staff can get a free six-month trial of qodeo by using the code Judge14.