Name: Anil Stocker
Company: Alternative funding website MarketInvoice. Customers can auction their outstanding invoices to a global network of hedge funds, family offices and high-net-worth individuals, raising money quickly at a low interest rate. So, we’re faster, cheaper and more transparent than anything comparable from the banks.
Turnover: We’re breaking even and we’ve channelled £11.5m to UK SMEs in the past year.
First job: My first job was working at Lehman Brothers. It certainly taught me a great deal about what NOT to do…
Dream job: When I came out of banking, I really wanted to set up my own business. I’d love to be a serial entrepreneur and angel investor.
Car: I live in central London and walk to work, so I don’t own a car.
Economy, business or first class: Economy. I’m a great believer in keeping things lean.
Most extravagant purchase: I’ve wracked my brains for this one but the most extravagant thing I’ve bought is probably an iPad for £329. I’m happy to report that I don’t fit the stereotype of the financier splashing cash on champagne, fast cars and fast women.
Most played song on iPod: I’ve been listening to a lot of classical music recently. My most played song is a 1981 Glenn Gould version of JS Bach’s “The Goldberg variations”.
Best business book: I’m currently reading Titan: A life of John D Rockefeller. The world he lived in was absolutely fascinating. Predatory pricing, industrial espionage and wholesale bribery of political officials were all part of the business culture. It was vicious.
Worst business moment: Given that my first job was at Lehman Brothers, I can usually top anyone’s “worst business moment” story! Suffice to say, the meltdown of the business in summer 2008, the resulting bankruptcy, and being under the media siege while we all lost our jobs was pretty bad.
Proudest business moment: It was on 7 March, 2012. Marketinvoice had its first million-pound auction day, which was a pretty amazing milestone. It hit me how large MarketInvoice could become, and how we had turned our revolutionary idea into an exciting reality.
Business mentor: It sounds corny but my business partner Charlie Delingpole has always been my best mentor. We’ve known each other since university, and we’re really good friends. I’m very much the dreamer with the big ideas; he’s the technology expert and the hard realist. We’re good for each other.
Next big thing: Facebook is so valuable because it knows so much about its members but this data isn’t being used in really complex ways ? yet. I reckon we’ll start to see a multitude of fascinating real-world apps. US firm Palantir Technologies is doing interesting things in this field.