The founder of online discount business MyVoucherCodes, Mark Pearson, has upped his angel investing activities, taking stakes in a number of start-ups as he aims to grow a portfolio of highly scalable digital businesses.
After committing £1 million to the user-generated news start-up Blottr earlier this year, Pearson injected £250,000 into online music organiser ShareMyPlaylists in July. The funding will enable ShareMyPlaylists, which claims to be signing up 400 new members a day, to ramp up sales and marketing initiatives, particularly through social media.
Founded by Kieron Donoghue in March 2009 and relaunched last October, ShareMyPlaylists is a resource for users of the online music service Spotify to share and explore Spotify playlists, which are pre-planned lists of a variety of songs. The site is free and can be used by people across the world.
The equity stake adds to Pearson’s growing portfolio. The entrepreneur, whose personal worth exceeds £60 million, has interests in online marketing consultancy Petoba, social gaming company NoisyDuck, and mobile vouchers and coupons business VouChaCha.
In August, Markco Media, the parent company of MyVoucherCodes chaired by Pearson, agreed to acquire VouChaCha for £6 million.
Pearson told GrowthBusiness, ‘I am actively looking for businesses to invest in. I like having my fingers in lots of pies, but I know I have to focus on my business at hand. That’s why I have started investing. I try to find people who can take a business venture and grow it. It’s like trying to replicate yourself.’
Pearson says he is particularly interested in companies that are developing products in gaming and using mobile technologies, adding that he is attracted to businesses with an ‘online community’ aspect to them.
He continues, ‘I don’t want to invest in too many because I like to be hands-on and I want to be able to add value. My best work is in marketing, namely online and in search engine optimisation.’
In other developments, MyVoucherCodes continues to expand globally. The firm launched a Dutch website in August, and continues to explore opportunities in the Far East, namely China and Japan.
‘We are still growing across Europe, it is a big market for us, but over the next few months we will want to launch across a number of Asian countries,’ he says. ‘The strategy now is to launch with not only one website, but a number of websites so they all interact.’