A London-based venture capital house backed by the government today announced it has secured an additional £45 million fund to invest in UK tech and digital companies, bringing total funds raised up to £82.5 million.
Passion Capital - based opposite Google Ventures in Clerkenwell and led by former Skype executive Eileen Burbidge, former last.fm chairman Stefan Glaenzer and former AOL UK CFO Robert Dighero - invests in early stage firms that have potential to scale up into reputable technology companies.
“Like our first fund, we'll be primarily looking to invest in UK companies, however this time we also have an allocation (approximately 20 percent of the fund) to invest selectively across Europe as well,” Burbidge told Techworld. “We won't be focusing specifically on any sectors but we are genuinely bullish about fintech (and have more fintech investments to date than from any other sector), cybersecurity, healthtech/medtech and edtech, just to name a few.”
Passion Capital, established in 2011 after receiving money from the British Business Bank and family offices across Europe and SE Asia, likes to think of itself as a “micro-VC” or a “super angel” because it backs companies at the start of their life cycle, unlike larger VC houses such as Index Ventures and Balderton Capital.
Burbidge said those that have contributed to Passion Capital’s “Fund I” and “Fund II” should expect to see a return on their investments after 10 years.
In addition to announcing the new fund, Passion gave an insight into some of the investments it has made over the last four years, revealing certain financial details that most VCs keep secret.
The VC has backed 42 firms with an average of £193,000 in seed money, taking 14.3 percent ownership of the company on average, which translates or reverse calculates into a £1.15 million pre-money valuation.
Passion touted that the companies in its portfolio have raised a total of £124 million between them, giving them a combined valuation of £407 million.
The organisation also revealed that it’s more than tripled the amount of money it’s invested so far, fuelled by three exits, including the April 2013 sale of Mendeley, to Reed Elsevier, and 28 active companies that have increased their valuations. It’s also backed five “wind-downs” or failures.
The majority of the companies in Passion’s portfolio are relatively unknown but some names are starting to make a name for themselves, including fin tech firm GoCardless, cybersecurity firm Digital Shadows and massage-as-a-service app Urban Massage.
The 96 founders behind the companies in Passion’s portfolio range from 22 years old to 41 years old, with an average of 32. Between them, they employ 573 people.
In terms of personality traits, 80 percent of the founders describe themselves as extroverts while 20 percent believe they’re introverts.