Ada Ventures closes first fund on USD50 million

Financial data

Ada Ventures has closed its first fund at USD50 million, one year after its launch, with new investment from Big Society Capital and a number of other funds and individuals.

Ada Ventures is a first-cheque seed fund, and is on a mission to make venture capital accessible to talent in the UK and Europe, regardless of race, gender or background. 

The fund aims to have the most diverse pipeline, and portfolio, of any fund on the continent. “Our mission at Big Society Capital is to change the way investment flows to support organisations that improve lives - and thinking about equality, diversity and inclusion is fundamental if we are to succeed,” explained Joe Shamash, investment director at Big Society Capital, who led the Ada Ventures investment.  

Out of the companies the fund reviewed in 2020, 43 per cent had at least one female founder. Over half of deal flow overall came in "cold" – without a so called ‘warm introduction’, which is good news as warm intros are typically unhelpful for diversity.
 
The British Business Bank is the cornerstone investor in the fund via its Enterprise Capital Funds (ECF) programme, which supports new and emerging venture capital fund managers who target the early stage equity gap.
 
In 2020, Ada invested in eight seed stage companies, which target issues including mental health, obesity, workers rights and affordable childcare. The companies with female founders that Ada Ventures have disclosed their investments in so far include R.Grid and Organise.
 
The founders across the portfolio are diverse in ethnicity, location in the UK, age, as well as gender. Four of the eight companies have female CEOs. This brings the total portfolio size to 17, including the pre-fund portfolio.
 
The current crop, Huboo Technologies, raised a GBP14 million Series A round, which was led by Stride VC and Hearst Ventures.