Many companies are writing optionality cheques as a result of the recent surge in US funds expanding to the UK and the increasing blurring of stage-discipline from multi-stage VCs. This has created a market where founders are struggling to deal with signalling risk, perplexing processes, and a lack of clarity on which firms they should partner with.
Concept Ventures (Concept), formerly RLC Ventures now has launched an oversubscribed £50M pre-seed fund (the Fund) with a £30M cornerstone commitment from the British Business Bank’s Enterprise Capital Funds (ECF) programme.
Investment in pre-seed stage startups
By issuing cheques ranging from £100K to £600K and giving founders the freedom to customize or join their rounds, Concept Ventures will invest in pre-seed stage entrepreneurs who are redefining how we “work, play, and learn.” They will add existing portfolio firms like corporate gifting platform Reachdesk, live-streaming video pioneers Condense, and female financial education portal Your Juno to the more than 60 start-ups they will support over the next four years.
Concept, which Reece Chowdhry founded in 2018, has backed more than 100 founders at the pre-seed stage, with a 71 percent graduation rate for Concept-sponsored founders from pre-seed onward (twice as high as the industry average). According to the company, prior funds are showing great returns with 2 exits in the last two years (including Cliff.ai, which was purchased by Gtmhub in June).
Reece Chowdhry, founder and General Partner of Concept Ventures, comments, “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. We’re deeply committed to setting our portfolio up for future success. We’re very proud of what we’ve achieved to date and to have that recognised by the British Business Bank, is a humbling and exciting milestone.”
“We are looking forward to making more personality-led investments in companies transforming how we work, play and learn, and doing so under our new name – Concept Ventures.”
Ken Cooper, Managing Director, Venture Solutions at the British Business Bank, comments, “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.”
British Business Bank
The British Business Bank’s Enterprise Capital Funds programme, which was launched in 2006, supports new and emerging VC fund managers who focus on the early stage equity gap in order to boost the supply of equity capital to high-potential, early-stage UK enterprises.