Concept Ventures launches UK’s largest pre-seed fund

The £50m fund will back over 60 start-ups over four years, writing cheques of up to £600,000

Concept Ventures has launched a £50m pre-seed fund, creating the largest dedicated pre-seed fund in the UK.

The London-based VC will invest in pre-seed stage founders reshaping “how we work, play, and learn”, writing cheques from £100,000 to £600,000 and offering founders the flexibility to shape or join their rounds.

The fund, which includes a £30m cornerstone commitment from the British Business Bank’s Enterprise Capital Funds (ECF) programme, will back over 60 start-ups over four years.

See also: Capital Pilot confirms first five start-up investments from £5m fund

Launched in 2018, Concept – previously called RLC Ventures — has backed over 100 founders at pre-seed stage to date, with 71 per cent of those finding more investors. Two of its investments have already exited, including which was acquired by Gtmhub in June.

Existing portfolio companies include corporate gifting platform Reachdesk, live-streaming video pioneers Condense and female financial education platform, Your Juno.

Concept Ventures makes decisions around what it calls “founder personality” – using data to identify the traits and characteristics key to entrepreneurial success. The VC then builds a framework tailored to each founding team to help them through the first 12 to 18 months.

The fund also pledges 1 per cent of the total “carry pool” (stock options) to charities the founder chooses.

Reece Chowdhry, founder of Concept Ventures, said: “There is a major gap in the pre-seed ecosystem, with too few funds offering dedicated pre-seed expertise. We are completely focused on this critical stage of a company’s life cycle and are able to provide the funding, expertise and network they need to succeed.”

Ken Cooper, managing director of the British Business Bank’s venture solutions arm, added: “The British Business Bank’s Enterprise Capital Funds programme is key in helping to develop and maintain effective venture capital provision in the UK, lowering the barriers to entry for emerging fund managers and for those targeting under-served areas of the market.

“Our cornerstone commitment to Concept Ventures will help them to provide finance and support to young and diverse, high-potential businesses at the pre-seed stage, helping to close the early-stage equity funding gap.”

More on seed and pre-seed funding

Black founders raise just 1 per cent of pre-Seed venture capital funding

Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme must be overhauled, say experts

Dom Walbanke

Fred Mann

Dom is a feature writer for Growth Business and Small Business, focused on matters concerning start-ups and scale-ups. He has also been published in the Independent, FourFourTwo magazine and various lifestyle...

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