June 24, 2022

Octopus Ventures To Launch Their First-Ever Pre-Seed Fund

London-based venture capital firm, Octopus Ventures, has launched its first £10 million ($12 million) pre-seed fund to support fresh startups in the fintech and health sectors. The firm, founded in 2007, works to fill the growing gap in early pre-seed funding for European founders. 

Kirsten Connell and Maria Rotilu, veterans of Seedcamp and Uber, will lead the company’s first-ever investment fund. They will bring their extensive experience and knowledge of growing firms from the beginning to the job, enabling them to work closely with start-ups in their early years. 

Octopus aims to provide the first cheque of between £400,000 ($491,000) and £750,000 ($858,900) and will offer start-ups £100,000 in single investments. Not only will businesses receive extra funding, but they will also receive support from experienced sector specialists from Octopus Ventures’ leading talent team. 

“Our founders will benefit from access, not just to sector experts from Octopus, but a network of more than 400 leaders who have walked in their shoes and are ready to help guide and advise new founders on the trials of building a business,” said Kirsten Connell, leader of Octopus Venture’s new investment fund. 

“In our first wave, 40% of businesses have a female founder, and 30% have at least one ethnic minority founder. We know we can increase the diversity of where we invest further, and we want to hear from female and under-represented founders with the next $1B ideas,” added Maria Rotilu, leader of Octopus Venture’s latest investment fund. 

The investment fund is set to undergo a three-year deployment period and has already started pacing a bit ahead of schedule by investing in five start-ups in June alone. 

Kumba Kpakima

Kumba Kpakima is a reporter at POCIT. A documentary about the knife crime epidemic in the UK got her a nomination for the UK's #30toWatch Young Journalists of the Year.