Lexy Prosszer, investment principal, Btomorrow Ventures, is one of our rising stars in corporate venturing in 2023.
Lexy Prosszer was only 28 when she came up with the idea of founding a corporate venturing arm for British American Tobacco (BAT). She had just joined the British nicotine product manufacturer as a senior M&A finance manager in 2017, having been an investment associate at Deutsche Bank before that.
“I have to say it was a journey that I don’t regret,” Prosszer, an investment principal at BAT’s CVC unit, Btomorrow Ventures (BTV), tells GCV. “There were a lot of learnings. And with the passion that I had for innovation, and knowing CVC was the right thing for both the corporates and the startups that we were looking at — it just made sense.”
Through venture investing, Prosszer adds, she wants to help BAT develop new offerings that can ultimately transform its business model.
Prosszer’s main focus at BTV is consumer packaged goods and cannabis-derived product developers. The latter was one of the first areas she looked at before the unit was formed, in addition to functional beverages.
Her investments are concentrated in the US given the industries Prosszer targets, but she also looks for opportunities elsewhere, from Australia to Eastern Europe. The fund started with early-stage investments but has now become more mature, conducting greater series B deals and beyond and also establishing an accelerator growth programme for the startups, BTV Labs.
In addition to funding, Prosszer has set up a community-building platform called Binspired for BTV’s portfolio companies, other investors and the wider innovation and venture community.
“I believe in the power of knowledge, networking and helping each other out,” Prosszer says. “I always tell my portfolio companies to share learnings, learn from each other and from each other’s mistakes.”
She invites an industry expert to speak at one of the Binspired forums. Not only are BTV’s portfolio companies invited, but also BTV’s broader network of other companies backed by other corporate or financial VC funds.
See the full list of Rising Stars 2023 here.