Octopus Ventures appoints co-CEO
Octopus Ventures, part of Octopus Group and one of the largest and most active VCs in Europe, has appointed Emma Davies as Co-CEO.
Davies has more than 20 years’ experience as an investor and portfolio manager and will work alongside the current CEO, Alliott Cole, as Octopus Ventures expands its platform for the next stage of growth.
Davies will focus on product, operations and corporate development within the team, allowing Alliott to focus on managing the investment strategy and the growing portfolio. Davies joins from Marlylebone Partners, where she was Partner, prior to which she held a number of senior positions at Big Society Capital, where she was Chief Investment Officer, The Wellcome Trust, and Perry Capital.
The appointment comes as Octopus Ventures continues to double down on its growth trajectory to capitalise on the ever growing opportunities within European technology and venture capital. The investment team has already expanded significantly in recent months, growing by 45 per cent following nine new hires in October 2020 and the launch of a new consumer focused investment ‘pod’.
Alliott Cole, Co-CEO of Octopus Ventures, says: “We are now entering a golden age of European technology and Emma’s appointment will help us to expand our platform to keep scaling and take full advantage of this. It feels like we are at an inflexion point and I firmly believe that many of the world’s most impactful technology companies of the next decade will come from Europe, with even greater flows of capital likely to follow. There is a huge role for Octopus Ventures to play in this as we build on our strong track record to seek out and back the most talented founders across the continent. Indeed, this sustained optimism is testament to the entrepreneurs who, in the last year, have demonstrated their remarkable ability to adapt and thrive amid the most challenging of circumstances.”
Davies, says: “Octopus Ventures has built a reputation as one Europe’s leading VCs and I am delighted to have the opportunity to work alongside Alliott and the team to help drive forward the next stage of growth. The business is brimming with talent and the calibre of entrepreneurs within the portfolio, as well as the list of exits, speaks for itself. It really is an incredibly exciting time for European venture capital and we expect to see increased demand from institutional investors across the globe looking for ways to access the growth opportunities it offers.”
This latest hire takes Octopus Ventures’ headcount to 46 in total, including 29 investment professionals and three talent specialists, who are dedicated to helping portfolio companies hire the best talent and establish the skills and processes required when scaling quickly. The team invests circa GBP100 million every year into early-stage businesses across health, deeptech, fintech and consumer with a portfolio of more than 90 companies and GBP1.3 billion under management.