EHE Capital: Meet The Founders – Guy Remond’s StoryTuesday 3 August 2021
Like most things in my life, becoming an entrepreneur, investor and non-executive wasn’t really planned.
Looking back it has always been about seeing an opportunity and taking the chance; no plan, quite a bit of risk and rolling with opportunities that I came across.
My biggest achievement so far
I suppose you could say the biggest achievement for me in my career was building up my first company in 2001 and selling it off to BAMTEC LLC, part of the Walt Disney Corporation in 2017.
It was a software company headquartered in Stockport, Manchester with offices in London and New York, and I’m proud to say it is now responsible for helping to build the Disney+ streaming platform.
Disney is a great company, but I realised that corporate life just wasn’t for me. I wanted to go back to working in my Unique Ability®: building two new companies and helping companies with great entrepreneurs, with the potential to 10x their key KPI's in three to five years.
So now I work as a non-executive, an entrepreneur/owner and an investor in several different companies, EHE Capital being one of them.
Together, Gary Fletcher and I founded EHE Capital after meeting at the same coaching programme, Strategic Coach® we had been in for the last decade. Gary mentioned an idea he had to disrupt the Private Equity world. I immediately resonated with the idea and things sprung to life from there. However, before I go into that, let me tell you how it all started for me. Let’s go back to the 1980s, to the city of Manchester.
My early days
Growing up, I wasn’t your typical academic student at all. I did okay but certainly didn’t excel at anything in the academic world, and that suited me perfectly fine. I was more interested in playing footy with my mates than excelling in school!
I later found out I was dyslexic, which explains a lot.
As a kid, I had two paper rounds, and as a young teenager, I worked in a shoe shop in my local town centre – my first experience in the working world! I discovered I was pretty good at selling shoes and all the upsells that came with it (we called them “fancies”).
After a little while of selling shoes, I moved to a big UK supermarket chain called Sainsbury’s. It was the biggest in the UK, it had a highly regarded and well-known manager training scheme, and for a 19-year-old wanting more beer money, it paid a lot better too!
For the next 11 years, I was quite happy at Sainsbury’s. I wouldn’t say I was great at my job, but I wasn’t bad either. Eventually, I worked my way up to the deputy manager role in a store that probably had around 350 employees.
It was an interesting time in my development. I learned a lot about managing people, and it gave me a really good grounding in building relationships and building culture.
The closet geek makes a move
However, after 11 years, something changed.
I must have been a bit of a closet geek, because after seeing an advert for an electrical store, I had this urge to work with technology and cool gadgets. I ended up applying to the advert and getting the job working for the Dixons Stores Group, specifically managing one of the PC World stores. This is a good example of me seizing an opportunity and acting on impulse/gut feel.
This is where things really started to shift for me.
I started talking to a customer, a young guy who had this idea of selling cars online, right in the very early days of the commercial internet. Now, I didn’t know a huge amount about the internet, but I knew more than he did, which generally gives you an advantage, in my opinion!
This is another example of me seeing an opportunity and going for it, despite not knowing how things would turn out, especially as I really wasn't an expert in this sector.
The birth of Cake Solutions
Using the internet to help sell cars was my first taste of a software project, and now there was no going back. After 18 months, I set up my own business with a very technically gifted young man called Rob Harrop, and together we started Cake Solutions.
Rob left the business in 2006, but I ended up running Cake for 17 years, and in this time, Cake became a very different business to most of the other businesses in its sector.
For a start, we moved away from the traditional software development languages to a language that was only just being commercialised. It was a bit of a technical bet, but we saw it as being the future of technology, and fortunately, we were right.
Cake Solutions becomes famous in its niche
Technology hadn’t caught up with what people were trying to do online, but the technology we started to specialise in allowed that to happen and made sure that we could scale up to spikes in demand without websites crashing.
On top of that, as we were learning about all these new technologies, we started speaking about them within our community.
We went to conferences and did talks, engaged in technology user groups, wrote books and a lot of blogs too!
Initially, there was no real plan for this. We just wanted to talk about what we were passionate about. However, when the opportunities started coming in, we spotted that we were getting noticed, and people were enjoying what we were putting out.
It was increasing our notoriety within the industry, and we became the most well-known specialists in that particular area.
Our passion was engaging with our community
We didn’t have a sales team, and we never intended to have a sales team. We didn’t need one.
The engineers just enjoyed talking about what they were doing, and this content won us all of our business! In fact, this strategy, along with some business training from the excellent Strategic Coach®, and solid advice from my non-executive Ian Brookes (now CEO of thestartupfactory.tech), was responsible for increasing every parameter we set ten fold!
Unbeknown to us, our content was being seen by some of the biggest players out there too. Our eventual acquirer had followed us for four years, which eventually led them to make us an offer.
We weren’t looking to be acquired at the time, but having this offer on the table got me thinking about what else I could do and how I could use my experience to help other people.
The key factor in the shareholders’ decision to sell Cake Solutions was that we felt the acquiring organisation was a great match for our team. They ended up working on a huge project that had become one of the biggest streaming platforms in the world!
The eventual sale of Cake Solutions in 2017 opened up a lot of opportunities for me to start helping, advising and investing in other technology-led businesses, which has been my passion for the last five years and has led me to become an investor and founder of several companies since, such as Guidr, thestartupfactory.tech and EHE Capital.
The birth of EHE Capital
One chilly day in Toronto, at one of the Strategic Coach® training sessions, I got talking to Gary Fletcher and realised that we shared the same dream. We wanted to change the way private equity works and put it back in favour of the entrepreneur.
So, in 2021 we started EHE Capital, a private equity company that puts the entrepreneur front and centre of everything. Gary and I both come from very different backgrounds (as you will learn next week) and have different Unique Abilities®, which is what makes us a great team. I can’t wait to see what the next 25 years have in store for us and the entrepreneurs we help.
I hope you have found this useful.
For a more in-depth discussion on EHE Capital, check out episode 18 of our podcast “Extraordinary Entrepreneurs Together”. Alternatively, you can email us with your questions at firstname.lastname@example.org OR email@example.com.
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