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Octopus Investments launches £40M deeptech fund to lead pre-seed rounds in UK and European startups

Octopus Investments Partner
Picture credits: Octopus Investments

Octopus Investments, which is a part of the Octopus Group, has announced that it has launched a Pre-Seed Deep Tech Fund. The fund is targeting a fundraise of £40 million to back pre-seed startups in the UK and Europe. 

The fund is looking to raise capital from a range of national and international institutional investors, including family offices, that can see the enabling power of deep tech; corporates, that are looking to invest early in the sector to gain competitive advantage in the long-term; and local government pension schemes, that are looking to grow their local economies.

B Corp-certified investment company

UK-based Octopus Investments, part of the Octopus Group, is a B Corp-certified investment company for investors who believe their money can be a force for good. Led by General Partners Zoe Reich and Rubina Singh, the company is a mission to invest £50 billion in people, ideas, and industries that will change the world. Both of them are both Principals within Octopus Ventures, which has backed Colonia Technologies, Flock, and Nosso

Focuses on sustainable startups

The fund is designed to back the most promising deep tech founders with the capital and skills they need to take breakthrough technologies to market. The fund will act as a lead investor in deep tech hardware and software with capital and effective customer discovery. 

Octopus Investments’ new fund will invest in technology emerging from the UK and Europe’s most forward-looking research centres and university hubs essential for establishing a sustainable planet. These technologies include the likes of quantum solutions, photonics and electronics, advanced materials, robotics, agtech, and artificial intelligence. Without investment, global challenges, such as climate change, resource scarcity, and the need for energy security, will remain unresolved.

General Partner at Octopus Investments, Zoe Reich commented: “We’re excited to be launching a fund that tackles one of the greatest challenges of deep tech commercialisation – customer discovery – and underwrite the technology validation pathway, while providing founders with meaningful capital to hit value inflection points.”

Rubina Singh, General Partner at Octopus Investments, said, “Greater innovation requires greater diversity of thought, and we are passionate about supporting diverse teams working on novel technologies. For a recent customer discovery programme we ran for deep tech start-ups, nearly 50% of the applications we received were from teams with a female founding member and more than 60% had a founding member from an ethnic minority background. Our ambition with this fund is to tackle both the funding gap faced by deep tech businesses and support diverse founders to create a truly inclusive net-zero future.”

Jennifer Ockwell, Head of Institutional, commented: “Our fund is investing in the novel, protectable technologies at the most critical time, to spur them into commercialisation, and to enable wide-scale adoption. Investing at this point in a company’s life cycle is also the most capital-efficient time, so there is a compelling investment opportunity.”

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