Meet Esha and Megha, Senior Investors at Forward.

Ann-Marie Rossiter

Senior Marketing Manager

May 2, 2023

At Forward, the investment team serves as the engine room, driving our success by discovering outstanding founder talent, analysing new trends, and building long-lasting relationships with founders. In this Q&A, we hear from Megha Prakash and Esha Vatsa, Senior Investors at Forward, about their thoughts on the technology trends that excite them the most, what they believe makes a standout founder, and the stars and 'ones to watch' in Forward's portfolio.

Esha Vatsa, Senior Investor at Forward.

Where were you before joining Forward?

Before Forward, I was a Principal at Pi Labs. There I covered the firm's investments across the PropTech sector, and led several investments in Fintech, LegalTech, ConTech and data analytics products, including GenerationHome, Vauban, Kamma, and OfficeApp. Before that, I spent time at a seed-stage impact investment firm in India focusing on Fintech and Healthcare sectors, and prior to that advised on M&A transactions in India.

Which technology areas are exciting to you right now?

I continue to be excited by Fintech, PropTech, ClimateTech and big data analytics products.  Having invested in the digitalisation of Real Estate, I find the digital transformation of other industries very interesting, especially in Future of Work and Future of Learning. The modern enterprise is also an area where I see lots of disruption starting to flourish, in terms of its digitalisation and the modernisation of its existing tech stack.

What do you think makes a standout founder?

Two qualities in founders that I have come to admire the most (and as a result look out for) are self-awareness and detail orientation. The former is key to successfully completing the extremely steep learning curve one embarks on as a founder and a natural affinity towards the latter means that a founder would never steer too far away from the business to lose reasonable understanding of the ground level detail - whether that has to do with business performance, customers, business operations or culture.

Who's making waves in the Forward portfolio?

It's great to see several companies in the portfolio grow strongly despite a tough market to sell to both consumer and business customers. Some that are growing rapidly include Apexx, Breedr, Ably, and Robin AI.

Megha Prakash,  Senior Investor at Forward.

‍Tell us a little about your career to date? 

I've been at Forward for almost 18 months now; prior to joining the team, I built a digital health tech startup called Earthmiles. It offered a B2B2C gamified well-being platform to SMEs in the UK and internationally. Before that, I started my career as a Tech and Media M&A banker at Goldman Sachs in New York and as a generalist execution M&A banker at Goldman Sachs London.

Which technology sectors are exciting to you right now?‍

Applied AI and automation, SaaS in productivity and growth optimisation, dev ops and ML ops, analytics and decision intelligence, web3 and the broader uses of blockchain that go beyond DeFi, sustainability tech, and many others.

What do you think makes a stand-out founder?

The startup journey is never easy, and if you love what you do and you truly believe in what you are building, it shows up in the enthusiasm, resilience, interpersonal and leadership skills, and broader stakeholder and customer engagement that a founder is involved in. Therefore for me, passion is key. Combine that with some deep domain knowledge or critical insights on the problem they are solving, and you have a stand-out founder.

Who's making waves in the Forward portfolio?

It's been amazing to see how well the portfolio has performed through the softer economic environment. Several companies in the portfolio are going from strength to strength, raising large rounds and scaling impressively - Gravity Sketch, Robin AI, Koyo Loans, Ably, and OutThink, to name just a few.

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Ann-Marie Rossiter

Senior Marketing Manager

May 2, 2023

Ann-Marie has almost a decade's worth of experience building and scaling startups in the UK tech industry. From luxury travel and corporate events to robotic process automation, she loves challenger brands with a killer idea. Passionate about ESG initiatives, Ann-Marie has implemented many programmes in her previous roles to support charities tackling homelessness and helping young people and women into careers within the tech sector.

At Forward, Ann-Marie is responsible for our brand and building experiences that founders love, whilst supporting the growing businesses in our portfolio via the Studio.