British Business Bank programme: Enterprise Capital Funds
Episode1 Ventures is a venture capital fund set up to invest in early-stage technology companies based in London, UK.
It was created with a mixture of public and private money, including backing from a number of entrepreneurs including Alex Chesterman of Zoopla Property Group. It is one of the UK Government’s Enterprise Capital Funds – set up to support fund managers who invest in small, high-growth businesses. The £12.5 million of private investment was matched with £25 million of public money.
Episode 1 Ventures invests in seed and Series A rounds of up to £2m in software-driven businesses with the potential to transform industries. We’ve been entrepreneurs ourselves so provide a frank and fast approach to investing and we like to play a very hands-on supportive role in growing the businesses we back. We look for entrepreneurs with relevant experience ambitious to change their sector. We like to see that they can hire world-class talent and delegate to them effectively, and that they really know the customers and understand the problem. We also like entrepreneurs that are data-driven. But above all we like people with passion and ambition, that can execute at speed and overcome significant hurdles along the way.
We are building a portfolio of companies that are using software technology to disrupt their chosen marketplaces. It is a diverse group across a range of industries, but with two common themes – a great founder and a big market. We also like to invest once a company has launched their product and has some clients we can reference. Revenues are usually from zero to £50k per month when we first invest.
We like to play an active role in helping the companies that we invest in, at least until our companies have secured one or more later financing rounds. We want to help entrepreneurs turn their early stage ventures into fast growing companies built to grow into significant and valuable entities. We see every investment as a partnership. Indeed, we share our office with a number of portfolio companies so we work very closely with them.