22 venture capital firms you need to know about – Growth Business guide

Here are 22 venture capital funds you need to know about to fund your start-up, in every sector from AI through to Deep Tech

 Businessman contemplating success thought bubble, venture capital concept

Think big: British VC firms have £8.4m worth of investment capacity for start-ups

On the face of it, Britain’s venture capital firms have never been more ready to invest in your start-up. British venture capital funds have £8.4bn ready for investment in fast-growth businesses, according to research. Indeed, British tech start-ups raised more than £4bn between January and June, despite the shutdown of the economy, according to the government.

This venture capital cash could provide crucial investment for innovative companies as the country emerges from the Covid-19 crisis.

However, the reality is that many venture capital investors are playing it cautious, wanting to invest in later, safer funding rounds for companies with proven revenue. Two fifths of start-ups believe they have less than 12 months’ worth of runway left before they run out of money. Over 1,000 of the UK’s high-growth tech start-ups have gone bust since lockdown began. Which is why follow-on funding rounds are crucial.

Here is the Growth Business guide to 20 of the most exciting venture capital firms out there waiting for your call.

20 venture capital firms you need to know about

 

Amadeus Capital

Amadeus Capital

Mini bio: Amadeus Capital Partners was founded by Anne Glover and Hermann Hauser in 1997 and now has over 23 years’ experience in technology investment. It has raised over $1bn for 18 funds. Amadeus Capital Partners invests across the world from its bases in Cambridge, London, San Francisco and Bogotá focusing on early stage, primary and secondary growth capital and emerging markets. To date, it has invested in over 165 companies.
Regions covered: UK, Europe and Latin America
Fund size: Currently investing out of its fifth-generation deep technology fund, Amadeus V Technology Fund or “AVTF” (currently fundraising with a target of £125m). AVTF invests in Seed and Series A. Amadeus Capital Partners’ other growth funds invest in scale-up companies typically in Series B and onwards.
Types of funding round: Typical investments range from Seed to Series A and it also makes proof of concept investments in start-up companies and can write smaller cheques of anything between £50,000 and £100,000.
Investment range: £50,000 – £3m
Sectors: fintech, insurtech, regtech, digital health and medical technology, artificial intelligence and machine learning, consumer services, digital media, semiconductors and displays, cybersecurity, enterprise software, autonomous systems and human computer interfaces, novel materials and quantum technology.
No. of investments each year: Typically 8-10 companies per year (based on 2019 and year to date 2020)
Previous companies invested in: 165, including ContactEngine, Improbable and Sprout.ai.
No. of successful exits: 66
Website: www.amadeuscapital.com/
Phone: +44 (0)330 024 0777

 

AngelCofund

Angel CoFund

Mini bio: Launched in 2011, the Angel CoFund (ACF) is a £100m fund which invests alongside sector-smart angel investors across the UK. To date, the ACF has provided over £50m in direct investment alongside more than £300m from business angels and other investors, making it one of the most active early stage investors in the country.
Regions covered: UK
Fund size: £100m funds under management
Types of funding round: Early stage venture
Investment range: £200,000 – £1m
Sectors interested in: High growth potential companies across all sectors
No. of investments each year: 10
Previous companies invested in: 90 including, Ebury, Gousto, BluWireless and Fatmap.
No. of successful exits: 12
Website: www.angelcofund.co.uk/
Contact: info@angelcofund.co.uk

 

Antler

Antler

Mini bio: Antler is a global venture capital firm enabling and investing in “the world’s most exceptional people building the defining companies of tomorrow”. Through its regional offices across six continents and involvement in all major startup ecosystems, Antler provides institutional access to global venture capital. Fuelled by its proprietary technology and data platform and the world’s largest dataset on early-stage founder success, Antler says it is changing the way early-stage investment decisions are made.
Regions covered: UK
Fund size: £15m
Types of funding round: Pre-Seed
Investment range: £120,000
Sectors interested in: Agnositc
No. of investments each year: 20 – 30
Examples of previous companies invested in: AVID, Blueheart, CloudCycle and Deja.
No. of successful exits: N/A
Website: www.antler.co
Contact: london@antler.co

 

Ascension Ventures

Ascension Ventures

Mini bio: Ascension Ventures is one of the most active seed investors in the UK. It has backed more than 100 tech start-ups to date through itx (S)EIS and institutional funds. Beyond its capital, Ascension devotes its operational expertise, resources and extensive network to supporting founders.
Regions covered: UK
Fund size: Ascension SEIS Fund – £1.2m (annual), Ascension EIS Fund – £2.4m (annual), Fair By Design Fund  – £10m, Good Food Fund – £1m
Types of funding round: Pre-Seed to Seed
Investment range: £50,000 – £500,000
Sectors interested in: Agnostic
No. of investments each year: 40
Examples of previous companies invested in: Vidsy, Music Gurus, GetAgent, Percent, Trackd, Edukit, Moteefe, GiveVision, Mutt Motorcycles (partial exit), Rotor, Highbrow, Cloudbounce, Albert (exit), Publish Check, Blokur, Curiscope, Human, Wanderpay, CreativeAI, Entale, Jobskilla, We are Digital, Avuxi, WeGift, Driftrock, Bizzon, Wagestream, Number 8, Mobilus Labs, Switchee, Globechain, Vochlea, Looop, Blyng, iDefigo and ChilliConnect (exit).
No. of successful exits: 3
Website: www.ascensionventures.com/
Contact: Form on website

Bethnal Green Ventures

Bethnal Green Ventures

Mini bio: Bethnal Green Ventures is Europe’s leading early-stage tech for good VC. It backs ambitious founders using technology to tackle pressing social and environmental challenges and “drive positive impact” at scale.
Regions covered: Europe and UK
Fund size: BGV manages a group of funds from different kinds of investors (including SEIS, EIS and institutions) investing approximately £2m into start-ups at pre-seed and seed stage each year
Types of funding round: Pre-seed and seed stage
Investment range: £30,000 at accelerator stage; £50,000-100,000 follow-on as part of a bigger round
Sectors interested in: Tech for good, sustainability, health, civic, circular economy and energy
No. of investments each year: 28
Previous companies invested in: 127, including, Bright Little Labs, Commonplace, DrDoctor and Fairphone.
No. of successful exits: 1
Website: bethnalgreenventures.com/
Contact: hello@bethnalgreenventures.com

 

Beringea

Beringea

Mini bio: Beringea is a transatlantic venture capital firm with a track-record spanning more than three decades of investing – today it has more than $700m under management across its offices in the UK and the US.
Regions covered: UK, Europe and North America
Fund size: $700m
Types of funding round: Venture Capital (Series A-C)
Investment range: £1m – £10m
Sectors interested in: SaaS, retail and consumer, fintech, cyber security and artificial intelligence.
No. of investments each year: 5 to 8
Examples of previous companies invested in: Mergermarket, Watchfinder, Monica Vinader, Chargemaster, Fnatic and Thread
No. of successful exits: 30+
Website: www.beringea.com
Contact: info@beringea.com

 

Bootstrap Europe

Bootstrap Europe

Mini bio: Bootstrap Europe supports thriving industries across the globe, from green energy and genetic testing to SaaS, fintech and smarter city solutions; the team’s collective experience has ensured that the fund includes some of Europe’s fastest, socially-focused scale-up businesses.
Regions covered: UK, Western Europe
Fund size:  £108m – £135m
Types of funding round: Non-dilutive debt funding to entrepreneurs and founders of fast growing, VC backed companies; typically Series B onwards
Investment range: £900,000 to £9m per investment
Sectors interested in: Fintech, green energy, SaaS, smarter-city solutions, medtech, computer technology, manufacturing
No. of investments each year: Not disclosed
Previous companies invested in: 20, including Blueprint Genetics, CloudNC and Edited.
No. of successful exits: N/A
Website: bootstrap-europe.com
Contact: info@bootstrap-europe.com

Cordovan

Cordovan Capital Management

Mini bio: Cordovan Capital Management is a micro-cap buyout and growth investor. It invests in established UK and Irish companies with positive EBITDA and an enterprise value of up to £7.5m. Cordovan says it takes “a hands-on approach supporting management teams to build better businesses”.
Regions covered: Northern Ireland, UK regions and the Republic of Ireland
Fund size: £50m
Types of funding round: Buyout and growth capital
Investment range: £500,000 to £5m
Sectors interested in: Agnostic
No. of investments each year: 3 to5
Previous companies invested in: 9, including Makematic, Tru Corp and Kitchen Master.
No. of successful exits: 1
Website: www.cordovancapital.com/
Contact: info@cordovancapital.com

DN capital

DN Capital

Mini bio: DN Capital is an early-stage venture capital firm that invests primarily in Europe and North America. The firm focuses on companies that plan to establish operations on both sides of the Atlantic, and strives to help its companies build international businesses. Founded in 2000, the company has operations in London and Silicon Valley. DN Capital’s previous funds are top performers and the firm is one of the lead investors in companies such as Endeca (sold to Oracle), Shazam (one of the world’s leading mobile app), Auto1 (world’s largest used car marketplace), Purplebricks (IPO London) and Quandoo (sold to Recruit).
Regions covered: Europe, UK and US
Fund size: £155m
Types of funding round: Early-stage venture and seed
Investment range: N/A
Sectors interested in: Agnostic
No. of investments each year: 12
Previous companies invested in: 216, including Bnext, GoStudent, Housfy and ShipHawk
No. of successful exits: 31
Website: www.dncapital.com/
Contact: info@dncapital.com

Edge Investments

Mini bio: Edge Investments is the leading growth investor in the UK creative economy. Since its foundation in 2006 by CEO David Glick, it has raised over £200m, investing in minority positions in companies benefitting from trends in creativity, lifestyle, and associated technologies. In November 2015 they launched the Edge Creative Enterprise Fund, a £40m fund with backing from the British Business Bank.  Core to Edge’s approach is its experienced team of creative economy and investment professionals. Individually and collectively, the Edge team has over 100 years of experience, totalling over 60 investments in the creative economy. Past and current investments in the creative economy include: Jungle Creations, one of the world’s most watched digital media companies, which recently ranked 4th in the Sunday Times’ Tech Track 100; A Million Ads, an advertising platform delivering personalisation for digital audio adverts; Newsflare, a marketplace for user generated video content; audioBoom, an on-demand audio and podcasting distribution platform; and Festicket, Europe’s leading festival & travel platform. EdgeInvestments has also invested in children’s entertainment, live events and mobile games analytics.
Regions covered: UK
Fund size: ECEF – £40m and >Edge Performance VCT – £28m
Types of funding round: Tends to favour companies with proven management teams, businesses with proven product/market fit, existing revenues of £1m plus and capability to scale rapidly
Investment range: £1m – £5m in the current round
Sectors interested in: Edge backs businesses with purpose within the creative economy
No. of investments each year: 5
Examples of previous companies invested in: Coolabi, delatDNA, Jungle Creations, Newsflare and A Million Ads.
No. of successful exits: N/A
Website: www.edge.uk.com/
Contact: info@edge.uk.com

Frog Capital

Frog Capital

Mini bio: Frog Capital invests in European software scale-ups. It invests in high-growth software companies that have achieved product-market fit and reached recurring revenues of over €3m (£2.7m).
Regions covered: Europe and UK
Fund size: £135m
Types of funding round: Growth equity
Investment range: €5m – €20m
Sectors interested in: B2B and B2C
No. of investments each year: 3
Examples of previous companies invested in: Modulr, SHE Software, McMakler and sofatutor.
No. of successful exits: 6
Website: https://frogcapital.com
Contact: reception@frogcapital.com

 

Hoxton Ventures

Hoxton Ventures

Mini bio: Hoxton Ventures is an early stage venture capital firm investing in European technology startups that can scale into large, global winners. It focuses on start-ups that either disrupt existing industries or invent entirely new market categories. It was an early investor in Babylon Health, Darktrace and Deliveroo, and its portfolio companies have grown to an aggregate value of over $7bn.
Regions covered: Europe and UK
Fund size: £77m
Types of funding round: Seed to Series A
Investment range: £400,000 – £4m
Sectors interested in: Biotechnology, financial services and life and science software
No. of investments each year: 6 to 7
Previous companies invested in: 46, including SuperAwsome, Vitesse and Spacelift
No. of successful exits: 8
Website: www.hoxtonventures.com
Contact: businessplans@hoxton.vc

 

Kinetic Investments

Kinetic Investments

Mini bio: Founded in late 2016, it is a founder-funded start-up investment company focused on the online space. It focuses on early-stage seed funding and always looks to work actively with its investments.
Regions covered: Global
Fund size: £10m
Types of funding round: Seed
Investment range: £10,000 – £1m
Sectors interested in: Anything digital with focus on gambling, trading, insurance, internet security
No. of investments each year: 3
Previous companies invested in: 10, including Investoo Group, Seven Star Digital, Skilling, MoneyTransfers.com and Invezz.com, Mad World Media and Rocket.
No. of successful exits: 3
Website: https://ki.uk
Contact: Form on website or email in@ki.uk

 

 

InMotion Ventures

InMotion Ventures

Mini bio: InMotion Ventures believes that answers to some of the biggest global challenges — from managing increasing population levels and moving towards a more sustainable future to navigating a connected world — lie in mobility solutions. For that reason, it invests at early-stage in innovative businesses defining the future of mobility.
Regions covered: Europe and UK
Fund size: Not disclosed
Types of funding round:  Seed to Series B
Investment range: £100,000 – £3m
Sectors interested in: Mobility; autonomous vehicles; smart transportation; AI; insurtech; data analytics
No. of investments each year: 4 to 5
Examples of previous companies invested in: ByMiles, FatMap, Voyage, Zeelo and wluper
No. of successful exits: 3
Website: www.inmotionventures.com/
Contact:investments@inmotionventures.com

IQ capital

IQ Ventures

Mini bio: IQ Capital is a venture capital firm, based between Cambridge and London, which invests in “deep tech” across sectors including machine learning, AI, robotics, and advanced engineering and materials, and data-focused propositions based on disruptive algorithms. All of the firm’s portfolio companies are capable of dominating their respective markets on a global scale. Initial investments range from £300,000 to £5m, with capacity for follow-on investment up to £30m through the growth fund. The IQ Capital team has achieved over 20 exits to date, to companies including Oracle, Google, Apple, Huawei, and Facebook, and several IPOs including Stillfront Group. IQ Capital has led 25 investments over the last three years. The firm makes initial investments at Seed and Series A stage, currently investing from its £140m 2018 vintage IQ Capital Fund III.
Regions covered: Europe and UK
Fund size: £300m assets under management: Fund I: £25m, Fund II: £50m, Fund III: £140m, Growth fund: £100m.
Types of funding round: Seed, Series A and growth capital
Investment range: Initial investments range from £300,000 to £5m, with capacity for follow-on investment up to £30m through the growth fund
Sectors interested in: Deep tech, AI, ML, fintech, advanced engineering and materials, biotech, data privacy
No. of investments each year: Around 30
Examples of previous companies invested in: Grapeshot, Biobeats, Spectral Edge, Bloomsbury AI, Fluidic Analytics, Thought Machine, Concirrus, Privitar, Paragraph, Causalens, CCS, Imandra, M-Qube, Neurovalens, Optellum, Audio Analytic, Divido , Speechmatics, Nu Quantum, Closed Loop Medicine, FNA, Wluper, TurinTech, Dataswift, Porotech, CyberSmart, Iotics, KisanHub, Myrtle.ai, Apperio, Senseye, Oxford Space Systems, Synthesized, Pangaea Data, Funderbeam, Focal Point, BMLL Technologies, Boltzbit, and TOffeeAM.
No. of successful exits: 20+
Website: iqcapital.vc/
Contact: hello@iqcapital.vc

Notion

Notion Capital

Mini bio: Software-as-a-Service entrepreneurs and operators turned investors, Notion Capital invests in European SaaS and enterprise tech. Founded in 2009, Notion Capital has now made more than 60 investments.
Regions covered: Europe and UK
Fund size: Fundraising (Fund IV) £75m
Types of funding round: Seed, Series A, Series B
Investment range: £2m – £8m
Sectors interested in: B2B SaaS across all sectors
No. of investments each year: 4 to 6
Previous companies invested in: Tradeshift, Currencycloud, GoCardless, Heyjobs, Paddle, Dixa, Mews Systems, Unbabel, Bryter, Claimsforce and Yulife.
No. of successful exits: 15
Website: www.notion.vc
Contact: info@notion.vc

 

Palkwalk

Parkwalk Advisors

Mini bio: Parkwalk is the UK’s most active investor in the university spin-out sector, and currently has over £300m of assets under management. It has invested in over 125 companies across our managed funds, including funds managed in conjunction with the universities of Oxford, Cambridge, Bristol and Imperial. Parkwalk was co-founded in 2009 by Moray Wright (CEO) and Alastair Kilgour (CIO).
Regions covered: UK
Fund size: Parkwalk’s EIS funds raises c. £50-60m per year. The flagship Opportunities EIS Fund raised >£50m per year, with the seed university EIS funds raising £2-3m every 12-18 months. As well as the evergreen Opportunities EIS Fund, Parkwalk is investing out of Cambridge VI, Oxford V, Bristol III and Imperial I
Types of funding round:  Early (pre seed) to later stage (B+)
Investment range: £250k to £7m
Sectors interested in: AI, big data, life science, materials, cleantech, future of mobility, medtech and quantum computing
No. of investments each year: 40+
Examples of previous companies invested in: Yasa, Congenica and Spectral Edge.
No. of successful exits: 14
Website: www.parkwalkadvisors.com/
Contact: enquiries@parkwalkadvisors.com

Partech

Partech

Mini bio: The Partech Growth fund was launched in 2015 with a €400m final closing. The team focuses on European fast-growing tech and digital industry leaders to help them on their way to global leadership. The investment scope centers on fast-growing tech & digital companies, which achieved annual revenues in the range of €10m.

Regions covered: Europe

Fund size: £4o1m

Types of funding round: All stages of Growth Funding

Investment range: £18-£54m

Sectors interested in: Consumer, Enterprise

No. of investments each year: 2-3

Previous companies invested in: MADE (UK), Brandwatch (UK),  Amboss (Germany),  Ecovadis (France), Evaneos (France), Exporo (Germany), M-Files (Finland),  NA-KD (Sweden), Sendinblue (France), Urban Sports Club (Germany)

No. of successful exits: N/A

Website: www.partechpartners.com/

Contact: edelaveau@partechpartners.com

Playfair

Company name: Playfair Capital

Mini bio: Founded in 2013, Playfair Capital is an early-stage fund that commits to companies early and with conviction. Based in London, the firm combines the best aspects of angel investing with a focused fund, to invest in truly ambitious founders, wherever they are in the world. Playfair takes a sector-agnostic approach and investments span deep tech, SaaS, marketplaces and B2B companies. The firm is passionate about increasing access to investment for underrepresented founders and does this through its Female Founder Office Hours initiative (in partnership with Tech Nation, Microsoft for Startups & 60+ leading UK VCs), open sourcing its event playbook, and its ‘open to all’ pitch form on their web site.

Fund size: £25m

Types of funding round: Pre-seed, seed

Investment range: £100k – £500k initial cheques + support in follow-on rounds (£1m – £1.5m+ per company in total)

Sectors interested in: Agnostic

No. of investments each year: 6-8

Previous companies invested in: 60+ including Thought Machine, Ravelin, Trouva, Sprout.ai, Omnipresent & Vinehealth

No. of successful exits: 4

Website: www.playfaircapital.com/

Contact: www.playfaircapital.com/#contact-us

PROfounders

PROfounders Capital

Mini bio: An early-stage venture capital fund, powered by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs, PROfounders backs ambitious founders at an early-stage across Europe who are taking on massive markets.
Regions covered: Europe and UK
Fund size: PROfounders Capital II £40m
Types of funding round: early-stage, equity and convertible loan notes
Investment range: €500,000 – €2m cheques in rounds of between €1m and €5m
Sectors interested in: Sector agnostic, but particularly interested in games/games technology, B2B SaaS, future of work, fintech
No. of investments each year: Around 6
Examples of previous companies invested in: GetYourGuide, Small Giant Games, Unity Games, Made.com and onefinestay.
No. of successful exits: N/A
Website: www.profounderscapital.com/
Contact: + 44 (0) 20 7766 6900

 

SEP

Scottish Equity Partners

Mini bio: Experienced growth equity investors, operating across the UK and Europe, with a technology focus. It has been building businesses for 20 years, providing investment alongside expertise and access to an international network.
Regions covered: Europe and UK
Fund size: £260m
Types of funding round: Growth equity; primary and secondary capital; typically taking a minority stake
Investment range: Funding requirements of up to £40m
Sectors interested in:  A range of technology businesses including enterprise software and consumer internet
No. of investments each year: N/A
Examples of previous companies invested in: Skyscanner, Matchesfashion.com and ExcoinTouch.
No. of successful exits: 60+
Website: www.sep.co.uk
Contact: enquiries@sep.co.uk

 

Seraphim Capital

Seraphim Space Camp

Mini bio: Launched in 2018 as the first dedicated accelerator programme for early-stage startu-ps in the spacetech sector, Seraphim Capital’s Space Camp has so far run five cohorts of between six and 10 companies, with a sixth starting in autumn 2020. It identifies and supports the most promising start-ups using satellites, data, and other space-based technologies to solve Earth-bound problems in sectors as diverse as agriculture, transportation, and telecoms. Partners include Airbus, Rolls Royce, and the European Space Agency.
Regions covered: Global
Fund size: Not disclosed.
Types of funding round: Seed to Series A
Investment range: Not disclosed
Sectors interested in: Spacetech
No. of investments each year: 2 to 3
Previous companies invested in: 30+, including Quadsat, Xonaspace and Nu Quantum.
No. of successful exits: N/A
Website: www.spacecamp.vc/
Contact: space-camp@seraphimcapital.com

 

 

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