The unique Fusion of Finance, Angel Investment and Adventure
In the dynamic world of finance and investments, individuals like Nuno Francisco shine with their dual dedication to professional excellence and extreme hobbies. Nuno, head of BFF Banking Group in Portugal, is not just a seasoned finance professional but also an avid mountain climber, embodying the spirit of facing challenges head-on in both his professional and personal life. Nuno is one of the most recent COREangels Lisbon angel investors and is extremely interested to get involved, to speed up his learning in this area and to contribute to invested startups and group evolution.

The Professional Pathway
Graduated in business management, Nuno's professional background is as diverse as it is rich. With 27 years in the finance sector, his career spans roles in corporate banking and insurance, always in leadership positions of multinationals with a branch in Portugal across last 15 years. His international exposure and connections enrich his capability to support startups, not as a founder but from the investment side, emphasizing his belief in playing a specific role in the entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Leading niche banking in Lisbon
As the country head of BFF Banking Group, an Italian niche Bank, Nuno Francisco's role is pivotal. His efforts in establishing the bank's branch in Portugal from the ground up reflect a startup-like journey within the banking industry. Specializing in the acquisition and management of receivables from public entities, the team under Nuno's leadership has become a significant player in a niche market, showcasing a blend of innovation and strategic growth.
To illustrate the actual dimension, Nuno said: “At the moment we are one of the top players in the market, but we are the only bank dedicated 100% on this business, that it's a niche market. Since 2014 that we are playing an important role on providing cash-flow for local and multinational companies that allow them to invest in growth, new products, solutions and innovation.”

Scaling Heights as a hobby: A Passion for Mountain Climbing
Nuno Francisco's passion for mountain climbing parallels his professional pursuits. His adventures across the globe, from Elbrus in Russia, Pico do Orizaba in Mexico, Ojos del Salado in Chile, Kilimanjaro in Tanzania or some of the other most impressive mountains in the world except for Himalayas so far, underscore his commitment to endurance, risk management and team spirit. These climbing experiences, requiring meticulous preparation and resilience, mirror the skills necessary for success in the business world.
Training in Portugal is impossible because a high enough montain doesn’t exist, prompting him to prepare in Spain or France. Preparing for a climb starts 6-9 months ahead, taking into account weather patterns and logistics. Climbs can be grueling 14-hour ascents with a team of six to seven, starting from base camps based at 5000 meters altitude, where the team stays for around a week for aclimatization, essential to reduce risks and increase adaptation. Local or Portuguese guides lead the way, braving freezing nights in lightweight tents and preparing for high altitudes. Inside the tents, water freezes at night, only returning to its liquid phase when the sun goes up.

These climbs shape Nuno personally and professionally, honing his leadership and decision-making skills. With extreme weather and communication limited to emergency phones, reliance on the team is crucial. Despite the dangers, which sometimes lead to health emergencies, Nuno embraces the risks. He views retreats not as defeats but as learning experiences, teaching him about his limits and resilience.

Embracing the Angel Investing Community
The transition to angel investing marked a significant shift for Nuno. Driven by a desire for more active involvement in his investments, he was drawn to the Business Angels community. As a previous experience, he invested in a VC fund, but rapidly found that was not having enough fun, participation, and involvement. His engagement with COREangels Lisbon reflects a deliberate journey towards contributing actively to the entrepreneurial ecosystem, enriched by his financial expertise and personal commitment to supporting startups.

COREangels Lisbon: A New Chapter
Looking for investment diversification, Nuno took around six months to study alternatives. Finding angel investment, decided to silently follow conversations and published information from different sources, such as COREangels Lisbon, and concluded that was interesting, relevant and consistent. From that moment, contacted Rui Falcao as one of group leaders and got interested to know even more. From then, took the opportunity to participate in an investment committee as observer and got even more interested in the group.
When returning home, told his wife that investment committee was like to be in a "Shark Tank" but with a distinctively Portuguese flair, that offered a unique learning opportunity. Nuno's involvement is fuelled by a desire for hands-on investment, leveraging his background in finance and insurance to contribute meaningfully to the community.

The Investment Philosophy
Nuno's investment focus reflects his professional expertise and personal interests. With a particular interest in FinTech, InsureTech, healthcare, and climate change, he aims to contribute to areas where he can provide the most value. Adding to that, sees with a mix of curiosity and interest all other areas that will contribute to enlarge experience and knowledge. This focus underscores his approach to angel investing as not just about seeking returns but about fostering growth and innovation in sectors critical to future development.
For those considering angel investing, Nuno offers valuable advice.
Emphasizing the importance of seeking information, engaging with experienced investors, and participating actively in investment communities, he encourages aspiring investors to explore this rewarding path.
Has key steps and ideas for one interested in becoming angel investor, suggests:
  • Online there are a lot of information and its possible to follow up several business angels, investors, organisations around the Europe and Portugal.
  • Adding to that, trying to learn and to speak with someone already investing in startups is very important too.
  • From that, make some tests approaching people, asking for information, asking for experience and try to participate in some committees.
  • Organizations like Startup Lisboa, Startup Portugal and similar could be also a good way to try to understand how it works inside and try to understand what the risks are involved on this kind of investments.
  • To experience an investment committee and get information for actual angels, contacting an organization as COREangels Lisbon is very important and useful too
  • In resume, recommendation is to try to reach this kind of information and knowledge from people who are already on this investment process.

Looking Forward: Continuous Learning and Engagement
As a recent angel, Nuno is quite curious about the next startups that will be presented to the investment committees and open to participate in the other groups inside the COREangels environment to develop contacts, share knowledge, experience, and support the group matching his network with the COREangels one when it makes sense.
Nuno Francisco's future aspirations in angel investing highlight his commitment to continuous learning and active participation. Open to exploring further opportunities within the angel investing community, he underscores the evolving nature of investment, where being actively involved and contributing to the success of startups offers rewards beyond financial returns.

In Conclusion
Nuno Francisco's journey into angel investing underscores the transformative potential of engagement and community in the investment process. His dual life as a finance professional and mountain climber symbolizes the balance between security and adventure. By sharing his experiences, Nuno emphasizes the value of curiosity, diversification, and collective wisdom, serving as an inspiration for both current and aspiring investors.