Secret Escapes and Zoopla investor Octopus Ventures unleashes £83m growth fund

To further invest in its portfolio companies, Octopus Ventures has launched later stage fund, which takes the total funds managed by the European VC firm to £1bn

Secret Escapes and Zoopla investor Octopus Ventures unleashes £83m growth fund

A long term investment can help expedite the growth of a startup and be mutually beneficial for entrepreneurs and investors, with the former achieving goals sooner and the latter getting a handsome ROI if they play their cards right. Now, revealing its hand, Octopus Ventures, the European VC firm, is  set to continue its relationship with portfolio companies through a new investment fund.

The £83m pot takes London-headquartered Octopus Ventures’ total funds under management to over £1bn, which will allow the firm to invest between £250,000 to £20m in startups “with the potential to disrupt their industries and change the world.” No pressure then.

Some of Octopus Ventures’ most successful investments include femtech business Elvie, social retailer Depop and discount luxury travel marketplace Secret Escapes. The new fund will see Octopus Ventures focus on three main areas: fintech, healthtech and industry – the latter of which will specifically focus on innovations to “drive the next industrial revolution”. 

Offering insight on how much capital from Octopus changed the company, Secret Escapes CEO Alex Saint said: “A lot has changed since 2011, when we first started working with the Octopus team. We had ambitious plans and were looking for investors that really understood what we were trying to build – a business that would not only disrupt but redefine the travel industry.” Seemingly the travel titan has achieved its goal, with over 1,000 staff supporting the firm’s worldwide operations in 21 countries.

Explaining the Octopus outlook, Alliot Cole, CEO of Octopus Ventures, added: “We back people we believe in, namely the pioneering entrepreneurs who are changing the world by disrupting industries. This is all about helping them grow their businesses faster and more effectively.”

Building on this in conversation with Tech Crunch by discussing the UK’s ongoing EU uncertainty, Cole said:  “I wholeheartedly believe the U.K. and London will continue to be a global leader in innovation and entrepreneurship regardless of the outcome [of Brexit].”

It would appear that Target Global has the same outlook as Octopus, having launched its first UK office in London. The Berlin-based investor selected London as part of its aim to connect European tech hubs and support entrepreneurs, with general partner Alex Frolov declaring the UK “has an excellent web of innovation: particularly in engineering, deep tech and fintech, which are key industries for Target Global.” The firm currently has over €700m under management across Europe, investing in areas such as fintech, insurtech and SaaS. 

Europe has produced a number of great tech startups and investors are seeing the potential for development.  With Brexit having raised concerns over the future of UK tech, it’s reassuring that investors recognised the value of Britain as a strong ecosystem for tech startups. 

Louisa Cook
Louisa Cook

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