We invest £0.25m to £1m in rounds of up to £2m in UK software businesses that have reached product/market fit in a massive, usually global, market. We will help you turn your startup into a growth business.

What we are looking for

Clear business model

At minimum, we need to see a working product with clear demand in the market, possibly with referenceable users and a clear path to revenues plus a clear customer acquisition plan. At best, you are generating early, perhaps pilot, revenues and are executing on a clear and affordable customer acquisition strategy. We love SaaS and other subscription models.  We are less keen on models that require huge volumes of low value customers as they tend to be hard & expensive to acquire & retain.

World-class CEO & team

  • Complementary leadership team
  • Relevant past experience
  • Consistently successful
  • Data-driven
  • Hires great people & delegates to them effectively
  • “Lean”
  • Listens and speaks clearly
  • Really knows the customer and understands the problem

Huge market

We want yours to become a global business and are looking for exits >£100m. If your market is >£0.5B in the UK & you have typically high software margins, this suggests a large enough global market to grow into a great sized business for Episode 1, but we use that number only as a rule of thumb.

What we are NOT looking for

  • A founding team of individuals who have over-lapping skills and little experience in their market
  • A CEO who has found a gap in the market, but there is no market in the gap – a lifestyle business
  • A product with no business model and no prospect of sales traction in the very near future (we know that means we would not have invested in Facebook and Twitter or Pintrest, but hey, every VC needs its anti-portfolio)
  • A business in a fiercely competitive market with little differentiation

What our entrepreneurs say about us

The Episode 1 team has been invaluable as we have scaled from a three person start up to a business that currently employs 15 people.  Their advice and clear thinking helped us enormously as we set our strategic goals after raising our seed round and contributed to a successful fund raising early in 2014.

James Hind, Founder & CEO

Scurri is simplifying the management of delivery suppliers for on-line merchants, and we wanted to work with an investment firm who could provide us with insights and connections to help us grow. With their successful investment in Shutl, Episode has had very recent and relevant experience of the space that has proved valuable as we continue to grow.

Rory O’Connor, Founder & CEO

Simon helped us refine idea into something that resembled a business, came to our first client pitch, led our initial external investment. Simon is without a doubt the kind of investor every entrepreneur needs.  He doesn’t mince his words, is not afraid to ask the difficult questions, has seen pretty much everything and is always willing to get involved and make a difference.  I really cannot overstate his role in our development.

Tom Allason, Founder & CEO

Simon has been associated with Shazam from its first year and remains an observer on the board as we continue to find his advice invaluable. He has provided tremendous insight and perspective to both the Executive Management team and Board given his depth of experience as an Entrepreneur, Corporate Executive and Investor.

Andrew Fisher, Executive Chairman
Russell Quirk, eMoov CEO

The road to gaining grown-up funding is fraught with obstacles and diversions. When I first met Simon Murdoch we’d already pitched to numerous VCs, High Net Worths and Private Equity sources. But it was evident immediately that Simon and his team were different. Constructive, helpful and above all founder friendly, the latter being a very rare commodity in an investor. Several months into the deal, Episode 1 continue to impress, support and open doors for us. No regrets. At all.

Russell Quirk, eMoov CEO
Oli Ashness, SimplyCook CEO

Episode 1 genuinely get behind their companies from day 1, with a positivity all entrepreneurs can relate to. Within 6 weeks of raising investment every single member of their team had gone out of their way to help SimplyCook out. When people talk about ‘value add’ when it comes to investors some of that comes from the afore-mentioned drive to help companies, and the rest comes from having the knowledge and experience to help. Episode 1 have both.

Oli Ashness, SimplyCook CEO
John Thompson, UserReplay CEO

Having worked with both Simon and Damien before I was keen to work with Episode 1 because I knew the value they would bring to UserReplay. As an investor and board member at my last start-up Simon made a great contribution to our strategy and to our successful exit, so I had no hesitation in choosing Episode 1 for UserReplay. I knew I would be working with trustworthy people with deep expertise.

John Thompson, User Replay CEO
John Coggins, Adludio CEO

We believe the best investors are those who are passionate about our groundbreaking technology but who are also responsive and honest with us. It has been a real asset to have Damien and Ash from Episode 1 as Advisors; they are always committed, constructive and informed. They have become part of the team and give us exactly the kind of honest insight that we need to achieve our best!

Paul Coggins, Adludio CEO
Charlie Osmond, Triptease CEO

Positive. Encouraging. Thoughtful. Episode1 have been a wonderful partner for Triptease. They are constantly looking for ways to support and help us. We’ve been delighted with their involvement.

Charlie Osmond, Triptease CEO

Website by

We Are Ignition