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Fireside Chat with Michael Pennington, Co-Founder & CEO, Gumtree

July 11 @ 6:00 pm - 8:30 pm BST

Listed 28th most influential on Telegraph’s list of “50 most influential Britons in technology”, we are delighted to welcome to our stage Michael Pennington, Angel Investor, and Co-Founder & CEO of Gumtree, and Slando.com, for a Fireside Chat.

Presently a seed investor, Michael has scaled two tech businesses, and has huge insight into scaling internationally, hiring teams, and going through the acquisition process.

Michael started Gumtree with his business partner Simon Crookall in 2000, after seeing a gap in the market when going on business trips. Whilst travelling, they’d spend time looking for a new flat, a mobile phone and even people to network with, and realised there were millions of people who were having the same experiences. In 1999, they both quit their jobs, and self funded Gumtree.

In just three years, Gumtree.com grew their initial community and expanded to over 31 cities around the world, and, with just 12 employees, they started generating revenue. After initial talks with eBay the year previously, they were acquired by eBay’s for an undisclosed amount in May 2005. Today, Gumtree.com has transformed into the largest and #1 classifieds portal in the UK, and accounts for 668,000 visitors a day and 18.1 Million Unique Visitors Monthly.

During the negotiations of the sale to eBay, Michael and Simon also began discussing the potential territories where a similar business model could work. So after some research they started Slando.com in 2005, with a similar revenue model, they targeted China, Eastern Europe and Russia. They discussed this idea with eBay who are also part owners in Slando.com. After scaling Slando successfully over six years, they sold to Naspers for an undisclosed amount.

Following the sale of Slando, Michael has gone on to become an early stage investor in Juro, Koru Kids, Gospel, Spherical Defence, Tulip Cremation, Breedr, Limio and OurPath.

Event Schedule

6.00pm: Event opens

6.30pm: Welcome and Fireside Chat with Michael Pennington and Elizabeth Varley

7.15pm: Audience Q&A

8.00pm: Networking drinks reception


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