Mr Lewis said, “I’ve never worked with someone who has failed at this, not just financing, but a lot.”
Mr Lewis has been the chief executive of health start-up Medican for nearly a decade and has been able to raise more than 8 8 million through his network and the use of “dating apps” – companies that link investors with investors for a fee.
These third parties charge about 8 8,000 a year, and Mr. Lewis said 35 investors have been introduced to him in the four months since he left First Penny Investments in September.
Mr Lewis said, “Gayle was supposed to do it.” But I didn’t get an identity. Not one. He blamed COVID – which was bad. I managed to meet a lot of people and raise money. “
Mr Gayle came out of the blue with Mr Lewis late last year and claimed he had a network of investors around the world – New York, China, Switzerland, Dubai – that could help his business.
Mr Lewis initially turned down the offer but after making “more than a dozen” phone calls he met First Penny’s associates and eventually agreed to accept him. “I met the team, they were strong, intelligent, they knew the lifting process,” he said. “All I can say is that I was fascinated by what I saw and I signed up.”
The first penny rewrote the financial elements provided for investors, but Mr Lewis said it took four months and the content was “not too different” in the original version.
But the main problem with Mr. Lewis and his partners’ first penny service was the lack of communication about the status of any contract. In the start-up industry, it is crucial to get feedback on why managers can adapt and improve discussions.
Mr Lewis, however, said no one from First Penny had updated his team on why progress was slow or what they had achieved and often phone calls went unanswered.
“Gayle promised me at various times that he would accept his game and give me more feedback. I didn’t get any response, ”Mr. Lewis said.
“It is always difficult to raise money. What you want is for people to give you a warm, purposeful introduction. If they do, I think they’re done. “
Mr Gayle has denied the allegations in a statement issued Friday stating “Similar, baseless allegations concerning Mr. Gayle’s case have been made more than once.
“First Penny is under a non-disclosure agreement with all of our clients, both current and past, and obligations continue even if we no longer work with them.
“We take our responsibilities to clients seriously and we never say negative things, especially to the press. So I can’t comment on why Medicine failed to attract investors, ”he said.
Mr Gayle had previously confirmed that he had not made any major deals for his clients in the past 12 months, and blamed COVID-19 for the travel bans.
Other first-time penny clients described similar experiences of not raising any capital and not organizing any contacts, but they were not prepared to go on the record because they hoped the deal would go into effect.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, a client said he was told the money flow would start when First Penny cut the commission from the Jinza deal. “The impact of our business has been affected by COVID, so we’ve noticed a lot of delays, but in frustration it doesn’t help.”
First Penny consultant Richard Hill said clients were provided with documents from which they were unable to raise money.
“In the world of investment banking, you pay someone to try and prepare a delicacy. From my point of view, from within the first penny, each client has been more than adequately served. “
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Charlotte is a reporter for The Age.
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