Episode1 Ventures is a London based venture capital fund set up to invest in early-stage technology companies based in the UK.
It was created with a mixture of public and private money, including backing from a number of entrepreneurs including Alex Chesterman of Zoopla Property Group. It is one of the UK Government's Enterprise Capital Funds
– set up to support fund managers who invest in small, high-growth businesses. The £12.5 million of private investment was matched with £25 million of public money.
Episode 1 Ventures invests in seed and Series A rounds of up to £2m in software-driven businesses with the potential to transform industries. They’ve been entrepreneurs theirselves so provide a frank and fast approach to investing and they like to play a very hands-on supportive role in growing the businesses they back. They look for entrepreneurs with relevant experience ambitious to change their sector. They like to see that they can hire world-class talent and delegate to them effectively, and that they really know the customers and understand the problem. They also like entrepreneurs that are data-driven. But above all they like people with passion and ambition, that can execute at speed and overcome significant hurdles along the way.
They are building a portfolio of companies that are using software technology to disrupt their chosen marketplaces. It is a diverse group across a range of industries, but with two common themes – a great founder and a big market. They also like to invest once a company has launched their product and has some clients they can reference. Revenues are usually from zero to £50k per month when they first invest.
They like to play an active role in helping the companies that they invest in, at least until their companies have secured one or more later financing rounds. They want to help entrepreneurs turn their early stage ventures into fast growing companies built to grow into significant and valuable entities. They see every investment as a partnership. Indeed, they share their office with a number of portfolio companies so they work very closely with them.