Lead founder of EQUI, a brand new inclusive venture capital platform, Doug Barrowman has come a long way since his modest Glaswegian upbringing and every step has been more decisive and successful than the least.
With his latest venture, EQUI, an intriguing investment platform created with Baroness Mone in its infancy, you’re going to be hearing a lot about Doug Barrowman and his immense success. Maybe it’s time to get a little more acquainted with the man himself, his career history and his vision of how EQUI will change the face of venture capital investments forever.
You don’t have to go far to come across someone who has made more of themselves through sheer grit, determination and hard work, but in the case of Doug, you need to add a whopping dose of intelligence and a savant-like observation of the financial sector as well. His story is a fascinating one that will captivate and inspire you to look into how you can get in on his next big idea and the good news is that there’s an opportunity that just opened up, in the form of EQUI.
'The early years'
Before you sit back and assume that we’re about to tell you a tale as old as time with a reassuringly rags-to-riches overtone, think again. Yes, Doug was the first person in his family to go to university, but there has always been a sense that he would do great things and without the help of a fairy godmother!
Fresh out of university and with an accountancy degree in his arsenal, Doug decided to crack straight on with building his empire and opened three paintballing facilities in Scotland. As if this wasn’t enough for a 22 year old, he was quickly awarded a number of accolades before being snapped up by 3i, a private equity group that needed fresh blood in the investment team. It was a good move, both for Doug and 3i, but ambition soon came calling again and after a stint as a corporate finance practice owner, he decided to focus solely Aston Ventures, an exciting private investment interest.
'Building on a great foundation'
If we told you that within 10 years of starting Aston Ventures, Doug generated a turnover in excess of £400million, would you sit up and take a little more notice when he offers advice as to the best ways to get into the investment market? We thought so and quite right too!
Focussing on acquisitions, Aston Ventures carved a real name for both itself and Doug, but in recent years, it has switched direction to move with the times. Taking on a far more technology-driven directive, the newest acquisitions made by Aston have been focussed on contemporary interests, while Doug has diversified like only a self-made billionaire with a penchant for adventure can.
'Shifting the focus'
With Aston going great guns, there was more than enough fuel in the tank to fire up a few new projects, cue the Knox Group. Acting as both founder and chairman, Doug oversees a widely varied collective of financial endeavours and, thankfully, leads a huge global staffing contingent, as the group’s portfolio incorporates close to £3billion of assets. You might think that continuing to run Aston, alongside the phenomenally successful Knox would take up all of Doug’s time, but let’s not forget that this is a man who has worked for every nuance of success that he enjoys and that the adrenalin rush of winning becomes addictive. Like so many inspiring entrepreneurs before him, Doug seems to have an insatiable thirst for new and exciting projects, which is why EQUI came into being.
EQUI: "investing in the future"
The modern era has waved goodbye to the archaic machismo and misogyny of the past and welcomes women into the boardroom, as does Doug, who has partnered with Baroness Michelle Mone to bring EQUI to life. Considered to be one of the UK’s most influential and successful businesswomen, not to mention an award-winning entrepreneur, Michelle was a natural choice to work alongside Doug to create an investment platform that was built around blockchain technology and cryptocurrency, an area of personal interest for both.
Having cut his teeth in the competitive worlds of accounting and investing, Doug has an intrinsic understanding of where the markets are headed and coupled with a keen interest in contemporary innovations, EQUI is a natural progression. The really interesting thing about the project is the vision of the company, which seems to hark back to Doug’s modest roots,
“Investing in visionary ventures with the potential to disrupt markets often reaps remarkable rewards as they emerge into tomorrow’s market leaders. Such rewards are often restricted to an elite that are privileged with accessibility. EQUI is breaking down the barriers of accessibility and delivering the investment portal of the future. EQUI will offer financial choice, flexibility and control.”
In short, EQUI aims to offer the person in the street the same opportunities to get on the investment train as experienced venture capital firms and high-stakes investors. As the name suggests EQUI is slicing through archaic elitism in the financial sector and creating a level playing field in the form of a highly secure platform, underpinned with cryptocurrency. There can be no doubt that this is the future and, given his amazing credentials, we defy you to be shocked that Doug is at the forefront of the development.
Having opened pre-sales of the EQUItoken cryptocurrency, Doug and Michelle are set to usher in a whole new era of investment opportunities. While he already has an incredible portfolio of interests, across a diverse range of markets, EQUI looks as though it could be Doug’s defining professional accomplishment. It’s too soon to tell just yet, but it’ll be interesting to report back on the success of the company, once the initial coin offering (ICO) stage has finished and things really start to move. Watch this space for updates and progress reports.