Venture capital firm Octopus Ventures entered the investment world before its initial creation with a £ 10 million fund to support early-stage start-ups across Europe.

The highly active VC, headquartered in London, has set up a special pre-assignment team led by former senior officials at Seedcamp and Uber. He is looking to invest in B2B software, fintech and healthcare startups.

The all-female Octopus Ventures team has already made its first wave of investments in 10 businesses in the United Kingdom, Germany and Spain.

Of these, 40% have a founder and 30% have at least one founder from an ethnic minority.

“Everyone has revolutionary ideas. We know we can diversify where we invest further, and we want to hear from women and underrepresented founders with the next $ 1 billion idea, ”said Maria Rotilu, co-chair of the fund and a previous experience as Uber. Niger state manager and investor for Hustle Fund.

More than half of the fund’s first investments were based in the UK. These include Bea Fertility, a start-up fertility treatment company, fintech Bloom Money, the Volunteero charity platform, Baselime, a developer start-up, and a teen-run application for women, Luna.

The new pre-fund seeks to address what Octopus Ventures co-executive director Aliot Cole describes as a “missed opportunity” and a “long-term challenge for European business”.

Cole added: “By creating a team dedicated to business at the earliest stage, with a special fund and two of the best European investors leading it in advance, we take this opportunity to support a business that will change the world from the first day. ”

This comes as investment at an earlier stage decreased, although total investment in Europe and the United Kingdom increased. record levels last year.

“We’ve built a pre-assignment team to move fast while providing all the benefits to a large venture capital partner,” said Kirsten Connell, co-chair of the new Octopus Ventures fund and previous experience as Seedcamp’s general manager.

“In our first wave of investment, we moved from the first meeting to the semester in two weeks and, as part of the portfolio, our founders benefit from access not only to Octopus sector experts, but also a network of more than 400 leaders who have joined their shoes and are ready to help guide and advise new founders on the challenges of building a business. ”

Octopus Ventures, part of the Octopus Group, is one of the most active venture capital companies in Europe. According to Dealroom, he made most of his investments in the Serie A phase. The lion’s share – 195 – of his investments were in start-ups in the UK, while 25 were in US companies.

His notable investments include Cazoo, Zoopla and Depop, all of which have gone public or been acquired.

Octopus Ventures launches £10m pre-seed fund

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