Octopus Ventures closes pre-seed fund focused on diversity: Sifted

The fund will back European startups in the B2B software, fintech and health sectors.

  • The fund’s focus will be on diversity
  • Octopus seeks to offer startups £100,000 single ticket investments
  • The fund invested in five companies in June

British venture capital firm Octopus Ventures has closed its pre-seed fund at £10 million ($12.3 million; €11.6 million), according to a report by Sifted.

The fund will focus on diversity. Forty percent of its first investments have a female founder, and 30 percent have at least one ethnic minority founder.

“We know the statistics on the number of female decision makers from an LP standpoint are shockingly low,” Kirsten Connell of Octopus told Sifted. “Naturally, what we think good looks like is completely different from what a 100 percent male investment committee thinks.”

The fund will back European startups in the B2B software, fintech and health sectors. Octopus will offer startups £100,000 single ticket investments.

Although the fund “is is pitched at a three-year deployment period, its leaders Kirsten Connell and Maria Rotilu are currently pacing a little bit ahead of that and have already invested in five companies in June alone,” Sifted reported.

Connell is a former general manager at Seedcamp and managing director of deeptech accelerator CyLon. Rotilu was previously country manager for Uber Nigeria, general manager of the neobank Branch and managing director of Oxford Seed Fund.