Entrepreneur and Ex VP of Amazon Europe Turns Venture Investor with a Government Supported Fund of £37.5 million to Help UK Start Up Companies Compete Globally
London: – Tuesday 8th October 2013—Episode 1 today announces its launch onto the UK venture capital scene to support technology entrepreneurs with aspirations to compete on the international stage. The £37.5 million fund combines public and private money with support from some of the UK’s most experienced entrepreneurs including Alex Chesterman, Founder & CEO of Zoopla Property Group, Tom Allason Founder of Shutl, and Nick Austin and Alan Bennie Founders of the Vivid Toy Group.
The Episode 1 Fund will invest between £250k and £2 million into twenty to thirty early stage companies. Each must demonstrate its potential to be disruptive in the Internet and mobile sectors and have satisfied existing customers to validate the proposition.
The three partners behind the Fund – Simon Murdoch, Damien Lane and Adrian Lloyd – are experienced entrepreneurs and investors, and have been through every stage of the start-up process, from inception to IPO. As well as investing, they will be actively working with the selected companies to help them succeed.
As the pace of technological adoption increases worldwide, the UK is becoming ever more successful at nurturing innovative, forward-looking technology companies. The Episode 1 partners have already been instrumental in identifying and backing some of the most significant tech companies of UK origin of the last 10 years including: Betfair, LoveFilm, Zoopla, Shazam and Shutl. Between them, these organisations have created thousands of jobs and experienced phenomenal growth and profitable exits.
Simon Murdoch comments:
“I know from personal experience how hard it is to start and grow a business, even without the added difficulties of the current economic climate. Raising venture funding is even harder. Our aim is to establish Episode 1 as the best place to come for early stage technology entrepreneurs looking for up to £2m of funding.
“We’ve raised the money for the fund from other entrepreneurs and successful business people and this has been supplemented by the finance matching from the UK government which enables us to invest and help more high growth UK businesses with global-market aspirations.”
Vince Cable, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, said:
“We are determined to give entrepreneurs the financial support they need to grow. This new £37.5 million Enterprise Capital Fund will target a serious gap in the equity market for high growth small firms.”
Alex Chesterman, CEO of Zoopla Property Group and investor in the fund said:
“As a serial entrepreneur and active angel investor I am keen to support other UK entrepreneurs in building future globally-successful technology businesses. Simon was an early investor in both Zoopla and my previous venture, Lovefilm, and I know that he and the whole Episode 1 team can add a lot of value to help the next generation of start-ups fulfil their potential.”
Episode 1 welcomes entrepreneurs to its open office. To find out more see the website www.episode1.com.
About Episode 1 Ventures
Episode 1 Ventures is a new venture capital business based in London managing the new £37.5m Episode 1 Enterprise Capital Fund.
The fund invests in software driven businesses based in the UK – typically £250,000 up to £1,000,000 as the first institutional investor in businesses with high growth potential.
We invest in companies aiming to disrupt large markets at an early stage – ideally when they have their first satisfied customers, whether consumers or enterprises. We encourage companies to make this as early as possible in their lives – as soon as they have built a minimum viable product – because it is only through contact with customers they can make their product or service fit the market need.
For more information or to pitch your business to us, visit our website www.episode1.com.
For more information on this release, please contact
Maggie Zaboura – maggie at zaboura.com 0203 588 0804