Portfolio support

The Talent Team builds people and talent operations, supporting portfolio companies with resources, connections and skills. Alongside them, Octopus Venture Partners are those unique individuals who have created unicorns (in some cases serially) and can now reflect back their experience, guidance and connections to next generation pioneers.

Georgiana Barbanta

Georgiana Barbanta

Georgiana has spent several years working with tech start ups in London and Paris. Most recently she helped quadruple the headcount at a London based SaaS business whilst building their people operations with a focus on talent, engagement, culture and organisational design. Diversity and inclusion is central to her work and she holds a D&I award for her work with Paddle. Joining Octopus Ventures in 2020, she focuses on supporting the UK portfolio with all things people and talent.

Georgiana studied Economics and Marketing at Jean-François Champollion National University. She loves reading, Star Wars, drawing, knowing a lot about the Rosetta Stone and has been unsuccessfully trying to quit video games since the age of 11.
Henry Goodwin

Henry Goodwin

Henry began his career as a lawyer in 2000, working for Allen & Overy and Bird & Bird in London and Paris, spending periods working in-house alongside companies such as Vodafone, Marconi and Yahoo!

Henry has been based in Singapore since 2008, where he has built and led multi-disciplinary teams focused on helping investors and corporate clients to execute their growth strategies in Singapore and Southeast Asia. He has also worked with Singapore and U.K. government agencies on their investment and cross-border market entry initiatives. He is currently a Partner leading the Digital and Technology team at PwC Legal International in Singapore (a registered foreign law practice).

Henry has an LLB in English and French Law from King’s College London and has completed a Global Executive MBA at INSEAD.
Howard Bell
Howard is a Venture Partner at Octopus Ventures with a focus on business and product strategy.

Howard has led accelerated commercial growth and product strategy at PayPal Europe (as co-founder), Content Technologies (to a $1bn exit) & JustGiving (recently exited at £95m). He has mentored over 20 companies, repeatedly launched and built distinctive, scalable business models and has led BD and Marketing teams throughout his career.

Howard joined Octopus in 2017 focusing on product, marketplaces and SaaS businesses in fintech, edtech and cybersecurity.
Howard is currently chair at Firefly (with BGF and Berengea as investors) and is a Board member at Bridge U.
Ian Perry
Ian has over thirty years sales, operations, general management and board level experience in the Technology industry spanning Saas, direct enterprise, channel and consumer business models.

For the past fourteen years Ian has operated as Chairman, Independent Non-Executive Director, Advisor and investor, working alongside European and US based Venture Capital firms to a wide variety of technology businesses both in Europe and North America.

Prior to setting out as an independent, Ian has experienced three NASDAQ IPO’s having held senior positions at Ingres, Sybase and latterly, Portal Software, where he started and grew the EMEA business from scratch to rapidly become the dominant platform for monetising internet services for the large service providers.
In December 2013 Ian joined Octopus Ventures initially as Entrepreneur in Residence and then as Venture Partner, working closely with the management teams of portfolio companies to help accelerate growth, revenue and market traction. Having had experience as both an investor and as a hands-on sales and general management executive, Ian is well placed to understand the demands facing early stage businesses and has now worked with over fifty different technology start-ups.
Laura Willming

Laura Willming

Laura has spent several years working with start ups in New York City, notably at Harry’s, where as the sixteenth employee, she helped challenge the global might of Gillette, building the team to several hundred in the US, London and Germany. Her first visit to Britain was to spend time as an intern with a young company, Brewdog (now a global brand), in the wilds of the Scottish west coast. Joining Octopus Ventures in 2019 she focuses on supporting the portfolio with all things people and talent.

“People are the most important part of building any company.”

Before joining Octopus, Laura studied Industrial and Operations Engineering at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (go blue!).
Marvin Ma
Marvin Ma joined as Octopus Venture Partner in March 2016. He is actively helping Octopus as well as its portfolios on China strategy and relationship building. Marvin is also Founder of Longhill Investments, an alternative investment firm based in Shanghai, helping Chinese institutions and family office for outbound investments and deal makings. Before that Marvin was a venture investor in HSBC Strategic Innovation Investment team covering Fintech Investments and ex Investment Banker in Torch Partners, a tech focus corporate finance advisory firm.
Pete Daffern

Pete Daffern

Pete is a veteran enterprise software executive with an impressive history of achieving customer loyalty and record growth. Before joining ForeSee, he was the President of EMEA and vertical markets at NetSuite and was one of the key leaders responsible for growing the world’s top cloud ERP company to a valuation of $10B. Previously he was CEO of ClairMail where he repositioned the company as the #1 mobile banking and payments platform selling to retail banks. Under his leadership, ClairMail was sold to Monitise in 2012. Pete also served as Chairman and CEO of Purisma and VP of Business Development at Vitria Technology. He started his career at Crystal Decisions, a business intelligence suite that is still widely revered by SAP. He was involved in growing the business from its infancy into a multi-billion dollar asset.

Today, he serves as Chairman of the Board at SynchHR, and is a board member at Amplience and Revoo, and a Venture Partner with Octopus Ventures. He was a board member at Market Metrix which was successfully sold to private equity in 2014.
Sarah Ruth Boyer

Sarah Ruth Boyer

Sarah Ruth has spent several years helping build startups in New York City: most recently the team at Sidewalk Labs and several of its portfolio companies. Prior to that she helped to scale the team at Oscar Health from 150 employees to almost 1,000. Joining Octopus Ventures in 2020, she focuses on supporting the US portfolio with all things people and talent.

Sarah Ruth studied Politics, Philosophy, and Economics at The King’s College, and in her down time she’s most likely to be found arranging flowers at home or wandering through a Brooklyn park with a coffee in hand.