Fuel Ventures unveils new USD45m fund for early-stage start-ups
Fuel Ventures, an early-stage VC focusing on tech-enabled businesses, has announced a new GBP45 million investment fund.
The funds will be deployed to more than 60 of the UK’s most exciting tech-enabled startups over the next 12 months, making it one of the most prolific early stage investors in the UK. Fuel Ventures is also extending support to pre-seed, innovative businesses through its new fund. This move aims to help stem the decline in first-time investment as the rest of the VC market looks upstream towards the latter stage, big-money rounds.
Since launching in 2015, Fuel Ventures has raised GBP80 million in capital to invest in seed and series A founders and their startups. In the last 12 months, FuelVentures founders have raised over GBP180 million in follow-on funding. Notable investments from Fuel ventures include ‘rocketship’ startups including:
OnBuy - the eCommerce marketplace growing at 860 per cent
Capdesk - Europe’s fastest-growing equity management platform
OutFund - the alternative finance provider pledging GBP100 million to small business,
Heroes - the e-commerce company buying, operating, and scaling Amazon businesses
Moot Group - the Staffordshire-based homeware and furnishing ecommerce business
With the UK tech scene continuing to lead Europe, valued at USD585 billion, the Tech Nation 2021 report found that seed VC is decreasing as a proportion of overall tech VC investment. Fuel Ventures’s latest fund will see this prolific early-stage investor further its commitment to supporting entrepreneurs in their fast-growth journey from innovative startups to tomorrow’s unicorns.
As the team strengthens its portfolio further, Mark and the team are also looking to support ‘first-check entrepreneurs’ whose ideas can, if properly funded and fanned, have the potential to change the world around us. This new pre-seed team will be led by Fuel Ventures youngest and most exciting venture associates: Alice Azzarelli, Tom Hibbard and Alex Breeden.
Mark Pearson, founder and managing partner of Fuel Ventures, says: “Since we launched our first fund five years ago the country’s tech ecosystem has gone from strength to strength and evolved into an ecosystem that’s the envy of many around the world. Now is not the time to take the foot of the pedal and say job done. We have a responsibility to invest in the future of the UK tech landscape and build on the strong work done so far. This, for us, means making sure we are providing capital for forward-thinking entrepreneurs and their innovative early stage businesses - even if that means just having an idea or MVP.”
Cas Paton, CEO and founder of OnBuy, says:,“When scaling as quickly as OnBuy building trusted relationships with entrepreneurial knowledge is vital. This is where Fuel Ventures really helped. They supported OnBuy as we scaled our marketplace to £160M GMV annualised revenues. Fuel didn't just back us with seed funds but continued to support us with Series A & Series A + funds as we scaled the business."
In addition to the new GBP45million fund, Fuel Ventures is also opening up a workspace in central London to serve its portfolio. While Covid may have boosted the remote workforce mentality, many startup founders and their teams still see the value in face-to-face interaction to boost team bonding and collaboration. As startups increasingly look to a hybrid model for work, Fuel Ventures will be offering founders and their teams a central London workspace where its founders and portfolio companies will be able to work, network with investors and collaborate with other ventures to share ideas, suppliers and best practices.