I am David Luck, I started out studying Economics and Math at Emory University in Atlanta. After school, I had two different jobs that taught me how to build and improve great businesses. My first job was at Bain Consulting, where at 20-something years old you get to help build some of the best businesses in the world. This felt like going to business school whilst getting paid. Next, I went to the private equity firm KKR. There we also helped grow businesses but in this case, the stakes were higher – since we owned the companies and lived and died by our results. At both Bain and KKR, I was able to work mostly in the B2B space where I saw first-hand that small businesses were often lacking the support they needed. We started Capital on Tap in 2012 with the goal of helping underserved small businesses by providing accessible funding to allow them to grow. Since then, Capital on Tap has provided over £4 billion of funding to more than 200,000 customers across the UK and US.
Tell us about your childhood and where you grew up
I was the youngest of three kids and always looked up to my brother and sister. My Dad worked for the same bank his entire career. While he was successful and had a safe job, I knew I always wanted to try and start a company one day. I was born in New York, but we moved around every few years. We ended up moving to Taipei, Taiwan when I was in grade school and then to Bangkok, Thailand which is where I graduated high school. This was an exciting experience as back then there weren’t nearly as many expatriates traveling in Asia. Moving so much made me learn how to make new friends quickly which is a great life skill.
How did you get started as an entrepreneur?
While working at KKR, I was lucky enough to meet two serial entrepreneurs who worked with one of the companies that KKR owned. We hit it off right away and decided to build a business together. During the first five years, we built two other businesses which ultimately didn’t succeed. The first provided business loans and the second was a buy-now-pay-later for business. While they weren’t failures, they didn’t have a true product-market fit.
In 2017 we launched our small business credit card and spend management platform and since then have had the opportunity to help over 200,000 small businesses across the UK and US.
What is one business lesson you would tell a startup founder?
Time is an entrepreneur’s most valuable resource. Building a mediocre business is the biggest threat to stealing your time. A bad business is quickly identified and discarded, a mediocre company can take a decade of your life. You should hold yourself to a high standard of success.