Fellows Directory

Chris Smith

Playfair Capital

Chris is Managing Partner at Playfair Capital, a Kauffman Fellow (Class 25), a Contributor to Forbes and helped found our D&I initiative - Female Founder Office Hours (FFOH) - in 2019.

Prior to joining Playfair, Chris held senior roles at plan.com including Sales Director, Head of Tech/BI and Head of Product Development. He was the 8th member of the team and over a 5 year period built an award winning sales team, introduced new products (organically and through acquisition) and lead the roll out of version 4 of the platform. Revenues grew to £50m in 2018 and the company ranked #1 in The Sunday Times Tech Track 100.

In addition to his roles at plan.com, Chris worked on the re-launch/re-branding of Vannin Capital (another Bramden Investments' portfolio company which was acquired by Fortress Investment Group LLC in September 2019).

Chris executed 14 angel investments across the UK and US from 2008 to 2018 with five exits to date including SuperAwesome (acq. Epic Games), Nearbuy Systems (acq. RetailNext) & Bidstack (LON:BIDS). He is passionate about investing in tech companies and supporting founders using his extensive operational and legal experience.

In his previous life, Chris spent nearly a decade in the City as a transactional lawyer. He has worked with some of the world’s leading private equity and venture capital funds on predominately international acquisitions, disposals and restructurings. At Weil, he spent time on secondment to the Silicon Valley office’s patent litigation team, UK-based food manufacturer Premier Foods and the Asset Protection Agency.

He also setup a telecoms business offering discounted international calling from 14 countries in 2001 which he partially exited via an MBO in 2005.

When not working, you’ll find Chris kayaking on the Thames with his wife, watching rugby or traveling and eating (ideally at the same time).

Education, Personal, and Fellowship

Chris studied at University College, London and qualified as a Solicitor in England and Wales.

He is passionate about improving diversity in VC, loves writing (for the Playfair capital blog and Forbes) and enjoys watching (but no longer playing) rugby union.

As a member of Class 25, Chris is serving his fellowship at Playfair Capital under the mentorship of Itxaso del Palacio.