What were you up to last weekend? Sweating it out at the club? It’s Monday and all we can think about is the vibe on the dancefloor. Another entity with the club on their mind is Best Nights VC, Jagermeister's investment branch, built to cultivate more authentic connections. Already they’ve boosted Thursday dating app and Soundboks speakers. BNVC are right in the thick of it supporting innovations that galvanise the culture. At the helm is Lorrain de Silva, Managing Director, and all-round nice guy.
For fledgling companies that want an extra push, some may wish to reach out for support to Best Nights VC. “Technology-driven business models that bring people together in real life” are those successful in securing support from Lorrain de Silva and his team at BNVC who have a special care for appreciating and welcoming all cultural, gender and sexual expressions. Investing in a future that loves diversity is going to create better nightlife experiences for everyone; nobody’s free until everyone is. What is partying if not an expression of or intention for absolute freedom? It’s more than a mad one with your friends, it’s a coming together of people for the sheer act of joy.
For those who aren’t familiar with your wonderful work. Can you introduce yourself?
My name is Lorrain de Silva, I am 37, born and raised in Frankfurt-Germany. I’m married, a father of two and very much in love with music, culture and travel. As the Managing Director of Best Nights VC, I am building and steering the fund that shapes the future of nightlife. I’m combining my unique experiences from working in the nightlife and entertainment industries, founding my own start-up, and holding senior roles in both financial services and innovation consulting in order to establish the next generation of venture capital. Together with my team, I've built BNVC´s international portfolio that counts 14 start-ups operating in the cultural space and nightlife economy.
As one of the figures shaping the future of nightlife, what future do you envisage?
With BNVC, I pursue the goal of strengthening nightlife through my investments in a selective and sustainable way. Together with my team, I try to identify technology-driven business models that bring people together in real life, creating memorable moments. (In short this means we are investing into tech, so people use less tech by decreasing screen time to increase face-to-face time). We envision a future where nightlife is thriving, where people feel safe and are having fun living in the moment. Where every culture, gender and sexual orientation is appreciated and welcomed, and sustainability is a companion of all of it.
Aside from investing in companies that influence the nightlife sphere, how do you find BNVC impacts social interactions?
Since we identify as an impact VC, we developed and introduced our internal impact framework to keep track of how much our portfolio companies are contributing to people's lives. This is how we are tracking how many occasions are created by or accompanied by our start-ups. Once making the calculation we come to nearly 20 million Best Nights per year on the consumer side. This means our users, members and customers went out and had one of their best nights IRL. These created best nights can be translated into happiness or on a societal level into mental wellbeing. As we are always looking for impactful businesses with cultural relevance, we have the feeling that the emerging markets with younger demographics will gain lots more attention and develop more influential momentum in the coming years.
What’s on your trend radar for 2024?
We are not the trend-makers, we are the investors looking for the innovators in the industry. We can just hope for more positive momentum and broad attention for the industry’s needs. This means enabling independent artists to make a living from their art (and spend more time on their own creative work), for venues to host more qualitative events and for people to have the best nights of their lives.
What was it like speaking at the Amsterdam Dance Event? You did two talks, Big Money Is Looking For The Music Industry - Part II and VC Money and The Gender Gap: Why do Female-led Start-Ups Get Left Out? Can you tell us a little more about what you covered?
This was fun and special. Since ADE is one of the biggest summit events of the music scene, it was a beautiful feeling that the industry valued our mission and vision, thus handing over the stage to share our story.
Firstly, with Big Money Is Looking For The Music Industry, we got an opportunity to discuss how BNVC offers access to funding when a business may require more capital to scale their operations. What makes this special, is our understanding of the industry and our unique investment thesis supporting these businesses. Acknowledging this as a noteworthy challenge, we recognize that many ventures in this space face obstacles in securing funding, leading to restricted access. In response, BNVC distinguishes itself by providing financial support through our distinctive investment approach, ensuring that businesses in the nightlife and music industry have the chance to scale their operations. This not only meets an immediate need but also contributes to cultivating a more diverse and supportive industry landscape.
Then with VC Money and The Gender Gap we covered the important topic about the widely recognized disparity in funding for companies founded by women, often resulting in an uneven distribution of equity. Our primary focus is on investing in the most promising teams and innovative ideas, but it's worth noting that almost 30% of our portfolio consists of companies founded by women. This commitment to gender equality and diversity is also reflected in our team, where 50% of our members are women. We place a high value on equality and diversity, actively seeking opportunities to invest in a broad range of ventures. We firmly believe that adopting a balanced and inclusive approach not only contributes to a more equitable investment landscape but also enhances the overall success and impact of the ventures we support.
Does Best Nights VC take a stance on widening participation in the creative industries?
Exactly, that's part of our mission. Our idea is to strengthen the broader nightlife industry which then also addresses the creative industry as long as there’s a certain overlap that translates into best nights and the best moments in real life.
You have invested in 14 start-ups, including LGBTQ+ social app Lex and dating app Thursday. How do you know technological development is going to work in a social environment, and why did these two stand out to you?
It’s a circular structure, we are investing into communities and businesses that operate to give back to their communities. Lex and Thursday do that very well as they show great engagements within their communities together with real life elements. Before everything else, we are searching for projects, initiatives and start-ups with cultural relevance. As soon as founders successfully serve the needs of their subcultures, niches and communities we are interested.
At the moment do you have a favourite piece on Pool, the fashion rental service that you invested in? How would you describe your personal style?
My team calls me a Boomer since I am writing with a paper and pen. This pretty much matches with my style. I am a 90s kid and a friend of timeless designs and products no matter if it’s fashion, interior design or music. I appreciate and constantly explore the new, but stick to my classics. My notebook, black t-shirt, black chucks, my swatch watch and my 90s playlist. (Since my generation invented the skater, baggy style it's quite satisfying to see that young generations are rocking it again - love it).
What are your best memories of being in the club or at a rave?
There are countless wild stories with several beautiful memories. Unfortunately, I'm not going out as often anymore, but every time I am in a nice club I dive into the vibe immediately and seek social encounters with people around me and their positive vibes. That's where I get my energy and inspiration from.
What are you hoping for in 2024?
In 2024, we are looking forward to expanding our portfolio by welcoming more innovative companies. We're eager to grow our team and foster a dynamic and collaborative environment. Our goal is not only to support exceptional founders within the cultural space, but also to contribute positively to the growth and development of the industry as a whole.
Feel free to reach out to BNVC at and find them on socials!
BNVC Linkedin
Lorrain de Silva Linkedin