Steven Bartlett Launches $100M Fund – Keen To Back Underrepresented Founders
From podcast host to launching his own VC fund, Steven Bartlett is gearing up to invest in the development of the next generation.
Steven Bartlett, star of Dragons’ Den and host of the most downloaded podcast in Europe, The Diary of a CEO, has set his sights on a new mission. The entrepreneur has announced the launch of the Flight Story Fund – a $100 million VC fund dedicated to advancing early-stage companies.
Bartlett has spent the past two years working towards the launch of this fund. Over this time, he has also built a robust network of entrepreneurs, which he describes as “Europe’s most successful entrepreneurs.” So, there is no doubt that his backers will be – and are probably still – entrepreneurs themselves.
“At this phase of my life, making a load of money doesn’t seem a significant enough motivator to go through hardship,” Bartlett said in an interview with SIFTED. “My passion in life is building companies, taking things from 0 to 100.”
“It’s going to enable me to use my network, my resources, to build greater companies, to accelerate them in a way that I don’t think they would be able to accelerate otherwise.”
Flight Story Fund plans to invest $1 million to $10 million in at least ten early-stage startups based in Europe annually.
“When I speak to friends who’ve built great companies, the feedback I’ve heard over and over again is that there’s a certain fatigue and pessimism towards taking capital from investors that haven’t been there and done it,” Bartlett told SIFTED.
Despite disclosing little about the new $100 million fund, Bartlett’s primary focus is on supporting underrepresented founders, including female-founded unicorns.
“If we don’t back the next female-founded unicorn in the next decade, I would consider myself a failure with this fund.”
According to Bartlett, all his investors have agreed to support the portfolio companies in their specialty areas.