London headquartered Octopus Ventures has launched its first-ever pre-seed fund of £10m to invest in fresh startups across Europe in the B2B software, fintech and health sectors. Previously, it only invested in seed to Series B.
Octopus Ventures invests £100k per startup in pre-seed ventures across Europe for 3-6% ownership. The VC invests alongside angels in the first funding round and tend to invest in round sizes of £400k – £700k. Octopus Ventures has invested in 10 pre-seed startups through the fund pre-launch, including wealthtech Bloom Money, fertility startup Béa Fertility and B2B SaaS platform Volunteero.
Although the fund is pitched at a three-year deployment period, its leaders Kirsten Connell and Maria Rotilu are currently pacing a little bit ahead of that and have already invested in five companies in June alone.
With focus on supporting businesses that push towards a future of safe and efficient and faster transactions, Octopus Ventures has invested in Fintech companies like Cazoo, BoughtByMany, CalaStone, Sprout.ai, Digital Shadow, Semafone, Eliptic, By Miles and Token.
The fund led by Connell and Rotilu brings a combination of investor and operator experience to the job. Connell is a former general manager at Seedcamp and managing director of deeptech accelerator CyLon, and Rotilu was previously country manager for Uber Nigeria, general manager of the neobank Branch and managing director of Oxford Seed Fund.