Les has been an active angel investor since 1999 and has had a full time focus on startup investing since 2009. Prior to that, over a 25 year professional career with Horwath Chartered Accountants and Deloitte, he established a reputation as one of Australia’s leading tax advisors. He lectured extensively and authored over a dozen books on tax planning, investment and cross border structuring.
Les began investing in technology in 1999, when he partnered with Leon Kamenev to develop Hotelclub, which rivalled Wotif as the region’s leading online travel platform. Hotelclub was acquired by Cendant Corporation in 2004 and was subsequently absorbed into Expedia.
In 2008, Les provided the seed funding for Siteminder, a platform for hotels to manage the distribution of their room inventory. Les led several subsequent angel rounds until 2012 when VC Funds joined the register. Siteminder has grown to become a global leader in channel management for the hotel industry, transacting over $20 billion per year in room reservations. The business, now backed by US based Technology Crossover Ventures, has raised in excess of US$50 million. Les remains a substantial shareholder and director of the company.
Since leaving Deloitte in 2009, Les has focused full time on startup investing, both in his personal capacity and (since the launch of EVP) via the EVP Funds. He is a director and/or shareholder of Alternative Media, Rezdy, Oneflare, Shippit, Snaprevise, Uptick, CL8 (formerly Drivemycar), DesignCrowd, Bluethumb and UrbanYou. Les is also Chairman of the ASX listed Microequities Asset Management and a director of not-for-profit group 40K.