Co-Founder & Partner
Since March 2021, Henry Lawson has been a Co-Founding and Managing Partner of EcoPragma Capital LLP, a Growth Equity investor focused on companies on the cusp of strong commercial growth and contributing to the net-zero transition.
Henry started his career at Ricardo Consulting Engineers in engine research and development, before strategy consulting with Monitor Company in the UK, Canada, Italy and the Netherlands. He lead a case with the leading US radio advertising sales house and they liked his proposals so much he was hired to implement them. Four years later, having digitised transaction processing and built a $100m revenue new business unit from scratch, he was hired by supplier Donovan Data Systems to run its European operations. Restructuring the operations, expanding in France and Germany and opening in Ireland, Henry was asked by the lead investor to become Worldwide President. At the time, leading technology companies were approaching the owners with offers below $100m, which the lead investor and the management team agreed should be rejected.
Over a 10-year period digital media grew from tenths of a percent to tens of percent of global media spend, and at the same time customer concentration increased until just 6 customers made up 80% of revenues, down from 30. By rolling out three distinct technology transitions, including technology secured through the acquisition of BrandOcean, by innovating new business models and signing partnerships, the company was able to grow profitability tenfold and investor value by over $900m. The company was later sold to NEA, becoming MediaOcean. Having watched data use explode as digital media grew, Henry left Donovan and joined Warburg Pincus as an Executive in Residence to pursue the thesis of combining consumer privacy and personalisation. Over two years, working with the TMT teams in London, New York and San Francisco, he found no companies of the scale required by Warburg Pincus, so left to found a start-u, AutoGraph, based on that thesis, with renowned Seattle investor Tom Huseby and technologist Brian Roundtree.
By 2021, AutoGraph had secured 17 international patents and won multiple awards, and been featured on BBC News, Click, and in Inc., Re/code, Geekwire, New York Times, The Daily Telegraph, Marketing Week, Ad Age, TechCrunch, Guardian, Mobile Marketing, PC Mag, Readers Digest, the Drum and Brand Republic. Henry has also been recognised by DataIQ as one of the 100 most influential people in data.
In addition to his primary career roles, Henry has been an active investor in multiple businesses. In 2001, he established Domaine Le Breil in South West France, employing a local team to plant vines more often seen in the Rhone valley. His calculation that climate change would make them viable was amply rewarded with excellent harvests of high quality grapes. The vineyard was sold for over 100% ROI in 2011.
Through his network in 2010 Henry uncovered the orphan BP business unit BP specialist fuels. He assembled an investor group lead by Oakfield Capital with a leadership team from Ricardo and over 5 years revenue quadrupled. The business was sold to Lyceum Capital with a 5x ROCE.
Henry also serves as a governor of Lancing College and past member of the London to Brighton Veteran Car Run Steering Committee, initiating the Regent Street Motor Show now attended by 250,000 annually. Once a year he is seen driving a veteran car from London to Brighton commemorating the dramatic energy transition of 120 years ago.
Henry was an exhibitioner in Engineering at Trinity Hall, Cambridge and a Baker Scholar at the Harvard Business School where he also ran the Prospectus, the Facebook of its day. Henry has three grown up sons and lives in West Sussex with his wife, two black labs and collection of classic cars.