JamJar are staunch on this mentality. If they are to invest, they must be convinced that the investees truly know what their product achieves: what problem does it solve? How does it solve that problem in a better way than what’s already out there? And is that problem something people genuinely care about?
Once those questions are answered, Adam claims “JamJar will invest on the back of an idea on a piece of paper, but only if the entrepreneurial team has experience in that area.” The team is a crucial aspect in JamJar’s investment approach, but a lack of experience does not automatically perturb Adam and his co-founders from pledging capital to a cause. If a team can demonstrate its capability in other ways, JamJar may still be inclined to invest.
“One of the things we test for as early as we can is whether we can have substantive conversations with the people in the team”, Adam explained. “We need to know if they’re going to be honest about what they know and what they don’t, and if that door is closed, it’s a big red flag.”
In fact, Adam has previously described the fund as a “highly incentivised HR consultancy”, which perfectly underscores their focus on people and their potential. The idea and the team come before all else, even – or perhaps especially – over the blind pursuit of the next ‘unicorn’ or ‘decacorn’ that so many funds are slave to.
JamJar is a more modest fund than the other players in the venture capital community, which leaves it unburdened by the pressure to generate colossal returns. That enables them to adopt a broader and more human-centric focus, which Adam believes is unique, as they approach each investment with a level of empathy that few, if indeed any, other funds can match.
“If we can be disciplined enough to not be too didactic about it,” he explained, “we have more empathy with the position founders are in because we’ve been there ourselves. The battle between head and heart, the complexity of managing big teams, all of those things are things we’ve lived and breathed.”