First Round: .007x

Happily, this aberration was a brief one: a year later, the peroxide was gone, the leather strides were on a shelf in Oxfam, and the Capri had been traded in for a claret-coloured Escort. Mother dismissed it as his ‘mid-life crisis’ and said we must never speak of it again.

However, FR was reminded of this episode recently upon hearing the news that InvestIndustrial, fresh from its successful investment in motorbike manufacturer Ducati, is now eyeing a bid for Aston Martin. At press time, it was widely reported that the Southern Europe buyout specialist was down to the last two bidders for the legendary carmaker, which is of course principally famous for being the car of choice of super-spy James Bond.

Now First Round would never wish to suggest that the venerable Italian firm was undergoing some sort of similar episode. However, it does suggest an important recognition: that when one reaches a certain age, and has the necessary resources – as is the case with InvestIndustrial, now that it has pulled off the remarkable trick of raising a big new fund as an Italian GP in a torrid fundraising environment – it’s important to spend your money not just on stuff you need, but also on stuff you really really want.

Yes, go and buy that ball-bearing business just north of Milan. But will that picture look pretty on your wall, the way that Ducati picture did? Of course not. So why not leaven the mix with one of the world’s most glamorous trophy assets?

That’s definitely what First Round would do if had a fund to spend. Which, to be fair, probably explains why First Round doesn’t have a fund to spend.