Given how much our cultural institutions have been suffering financially over 2020, and how much I *love* a good museum gift shop, I’ve been trying to make these online shops my go-to for Christmas and other gift shopping. Places like museums rely on their gift shops for crucial revenue, and with almost no foot traffic this year they need our support more than ever. A few friends have been asking for links, so I’ve included my favourites below. I’d love suggestions to add more.

The Science Museum

Incredible place for older kids’ presents, highly recommend!

The V&A

Gorgeous jewelry and homeware, and some fab Christmas ornaments. …


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Image by Pexels from Pixabay

I’m hugely excited to announce that OMERS Ventures has led an investment in PrimaryBid’s Series B. We couldn’t be more thrilled to support co-founders Anand, Kieran, James and Eric in their mission to democratise access to public market primary issuance.

Public market primary issuance, you say?

Every year, companies go public, typically via an IPO. Public companies can also issue additional shares later on, in what’s known as a follow-on placement or accelerated book builds. We don’t hear much about follow-on placements, but they typically dwarf IPOs in terms of equity issuance.

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Follow-on placements were 2x IPOS last year — before Covid. IB fee revenue is an OVE estimate

With very rare exceptions, the man or woman on the street doesn’t get to participate in these transactions, despite forming a significant minority of share ownership throughout Europe (rising to c. …


Hi all,

OMERS Ventures recently hosted its first roundtable over Zoom. We focused on the Capital Markets Infrastructure stack alongside our Capital Markets colleagues and heard from smart, senior and opinionated people for 2 hours. I

It was so much better that we hoped (huge thanks to Will, Nicole, Dan, Gabbi and Harry), so I thought we’d share a few tips on how to hold a good roundtable event over Zoom. We’d really love to hear from others as well about what has worked for them, especially since we’re all figuring this out right now.

Live action shot of the…


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Harry, Henry and I will be based in London

After nearly 4 amazing years at LocalGlobe, the news is out that I’ve just left to join the newly formed OMERS Ventures Europe, alongside my new colleagues Harry Briggs, Henry Gladwyn and Damien Steel, focusing on Series A investments and above. OMERS (the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System) is a sophisticated source of capital, managing nearly CAD$100B as a direct investing organisation to secure the pensions of the municipal employees and retirees of Ontario.

OMERS’s capital is split between capital markets; infrastructure investments, with assets such as London City Airport, Thames Water, Associated British Ports; private equity, with c. $15 billion assets under management and a particular strength in healthcare and business services; and Oxford Properties, which manages $50B of property assets across the world. OMERS is not new to venture capital — as part of private equity, OMERS Ventures’ North American team has invested in some hugely exciting companies, such as Hootsuite, Hopper, Shopify and DuckDuckGo among others. …


Life insurance. It’s a huge market — c. £10B of premium spent in the UK annually. It’s also boring, undifferentiated and old fashioned. …


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We’re delighted to announce that LocalGlobe have invested in Zencargo’s seed round, completed earlier this year alongside our friends alongside our friends Samos and Picus Capital. The announcement coincides with the 1st anniversary of the launch of the Zencargo platform. It’s great to be working with co-founders Alex, Richard and Jan who have rapidly set about achieving their task of modernizing the logistics industry.

An industry built on paper

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The international shipping business has changed little in the last century — it’s still slow and opaque, with many processes carried out manually and on paper and Zencargo saw a chance to change that. Most supply chain teams still rely on phone calls and emails to do their job. This reliance on one-to-one communication slows down processes, is cumbersome and prone to issues — the average shipper spends the equivalent of 7 working days just chasing all the various parties along their supply chain for information. …


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Cleo screenshots

Cleo, the AI banking assistant we first invested in at seed in 2017, has just raised an additional $10m. We couldn’t be more delighted to welcome Balderton Capital, which is leading Cleo’s series A, as an investor.

Cleo is a banking chatbot, powered by Artificial Intelligence. It’s ridiculously engaging (with usage stats to match), and its tone of voice — wry, funny and full of personality — is something special. Cleo is your sensible, super-smart friend, who knows how things work and helps you manage your finances and spending habits through the Facebook Messenger channel. …


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The FloodFlash founders wearing… waders?

We first met Adam and Ian, the founders of FloodFlash, via Freddy, the CEO of Cuvva, one of LG’s portfolio companies (our favourite kind of intro) and were immediately struck with the potential of what they are building: no less than a category defining product, changing an opaque, poorly understood flood insurance market… and that’s only the beginning. We’re delighted to be backing them alongside our friends at Pentech and InsurTech Gateway.

Parametric Insurance: smart contracts (no blockchain involved)

Around 5m, or a sixth of the properties in England, are deemed to have a higher than normal risk of flooding but per the ABI, just 55% of those living in flood risk areas are aware that their home is at risk while an estimated 350,000 properties in the UK cannot obtain commercially viable flood insurance. FloodFlash’s proposition to businesses and consumers is simple. Choose a payout level and a water height. Play around with both of those until you’re happy with the premium. Get sent an easy-to-install sensor for your property. Then, if the Flood Flash sensor gets tripped at the agreed water height, payment is immediately made to your bank account. …


Localglobe portfolio company, At-Bay, the cyber insurance business, recently announced a $13m series A investment by Keith Rabois of Khosla Ventures, Yoni Cheifetz of LightSpeed and Shlomo Kramer, that brings the company to a total of $19m in funding (For more details on the announcement, click here). These funds will allow them them to continue on their mission to provide best in class cyber insurance, and we’re delighted for the team.

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Truly aligning the interests of the brokers, carriers and insured companies

When we first met the AtBay founders 18 months ago, we were struck by the fact that they viewed themselves as true risk management partners for the businesses and brokers they work with. They provide cyber insurance, yes, but they also provide critical security scans, and help remedy vulnerabilities when their assessments find issues via their team of expert security consultants. In turn, this lowers companies’ premiums. …


I had the enormous fun and privilege last month of teaching a fintech masterclass to the Said Business School MBA students from Oxford University. It’s my second time doing this, at the kind invitation of Professor Nir Vulkan. He is an expert on e-commerce and market design and, among other things, organises an annual field trip where his students spend a few days in London talking to start-ups, scale-ups, blockchain experts, regulators, government and CEOs as part of their course. It’s an amazing couple of days and the students are seriously impressive.

I was delighted to kick off the trip with an overview session of the Fintech landscape in the UK at the moment. Some of you may find interesting, so I’ve linked to it here.

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About

Tara Reeves

VC @OMERSVentures. Co-founder @turo. Lover of all things London.

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