Dan Chaplin
Principal

Dan’s passion for finding and supporting the next generation of B2B fintech leaders has seen him build out an extensive portfolio of investments across Europe at Dawn – including open banking leader Tink, digital assets infrastructure platform Copper, as well as Billie, Access Fintech, Eigen and OpenGamma.

 

Dan has a particular interest in payments, credit and infrastructure platforms and supports our portfolio with a deep network of founder, investor and executive relationships across the European financial services landscape. He also leads Dawn’s initiatives in the digital assets space.

 

Prior to Dawn, Dan was with JP Morgan in London where he found his passion for fintech advising Europe’s leading financial institutions on M&A and corporate finance as these enterprises navigated a tech-led future filled with opportunities and challenges.

 

He read modern history at Oxford University, graduating with a starred first, before going on to earn an MSt with distinction.

Sectors
FintechFuture of Work
Connect
In conversation
Why B2B software investing?
Dawn
I don’t think there’s ever been a more exciting time to be involved in B2B software. We’re only at the start of the transition to cloud and with an increasing depth of funding, talent and experience in Europe, the pace of innovation is rapidly accelerating. As a VC, you’re standing at the frontier of this change, taking a view on what’s coming next... and then supporting the exceptional teams who are working tirelessly to drive it forward.
What do you think is the most interesting trend in the industry, and why?
Dawn
B2B software has become the hot space to be, from the public markets down, and we’re seeing huge amounts of capital flowing into the sector as a result. Even at the early stage, the most promising companies now really do have their pick of a global set of investors — so more than ever, VCs really need to prove and demonstrate the expertise and experience... they can bring. It also means B2B businesses in the fintech market where I spend most of my time are receiving increasing attention. That’s a fantastic thing as there are still so many huge companies yet to be built as the structures of the market evolve so fast. Increasingly open data ecosystems are going to impact everything, from credit to payments to insurance, and they will need new infrastructure platforms to support them. And I don’t think we’ve even seen the horizon yet on the potential impact of digital assets and DeFi.
What have the last few years at Dawn been like?
Dawn
It’s just been a whole lot of fun. The best thing about this job is the opportunity to work with brilliant people. I’ve had the privilege of meeting a huge number of impressive founders, and of working day-to-day with the fantastic teams like Tink, Copper, OpenGamma and Eigen. Sharing in their ups and their downs and helping them to problem solve has bee...n incredibly fulfilling. And just like our portfolio companies, Dawn’s also been building and growing! When I joined we were only seven people. It’s been great to have been a part of a growing organisation as we continue to learn from each other and our portfolio. We have a truly awesome team. I couldn’t ask to work with a more interesting, talented and dedicated group as the Dawn family.
And the quick fire round…
Book would you recommend
Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. I’ve picked it up again and again and it’s a perfect light read. Witty, absurd, and frankly often still painfully prescient.
Recipe for the perfect weekend
It’s hard to look past a long walk out in the countryside with a stop off at a cosy pub! And some live sport is always a winner!
Favourite SaaS metric
Net dollar retention is definitely on trend — and for good reason — but growth is king and gives you a lot of room for manoeuvre. Outside the metrics, what you really want to see are businesses creating deep economic moats which are the key to building sustained value in B2B software.
The company you’d build
Ah, don’t make me give away my best ideas! The enormous B2B payments market is a pretty compelling place to build today – there’s still a huge amount of greenfield space to digitise and automate what are still often clunky and manual workflows.

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