London-based Ada Ventures, an early-stage venture capital firm, announced on Tuesday that it has reached a £36M (approximately €41M) first close of its second fund – Fund II.
The investors in Ada Venture Fund II include the British Business Bank through its Enterprise Capital Funds programme, Plexo Capital, the University of Edinburgh, and a slew of entrepreneurs and investors like Taavet+Sten and the Supercell co-founders.
With Fund II, the UK VC will focus on funding early-stage entrepreneurs who solve society’s biggest problems, with a focus on the climate, healthcare and ageing, and economic empowerment.
Check Warner, Founding Partner at Ada Ventures, says, “Reaching this milestone of a second fund, backed by some of the biggest names in global venture and now having £84M under management follows on from the success of our first fund. Investors have seen how we source deals and find breakthrough companies making a positive societal impact. They can see our approach works. We have opened opportunities for extraordinary founders and shown that a more diverse deal flow leads to exceptional returns.”
Ada Ventures: What you need to know
Founded by Check Warner and Matt Penneycard in 2019, Ada Ventures supports ambitious founders with breakthrough ideas with an initial investment of £500k.
Since its inception, the VC has taken a unique approach to investment and sourcing deal flow, leveraging a scouting network – Ada Scouts, to identify the hidden talent capable of developing the next-gen global companies.
Currently, there are 100 Ada Scouts. These scouts are rewarded for finding those investments – with an upfront fee – and if those investments do well, with a longer term, carry a linked incentive.
According to Ada Ventures, nine of the 28 investments in its first fund came through this scout network.
In recent months, the reach of the Ada Scouts has been growing with a focus on the LGBTQ+ community, disabled entrepreneurs, and regions outside London.
Ada’s Fund I has invested in 28 companies, including Huboo, Organise, MOONHUB, SideQuest, and Spill. The Fund I portfolio has raised an aggregate of £100M in additional investment from firms including Mubadala, GV, and Index Ventures.
Ada Venture says its first fund is amongst the most diverse portfolio of any fund in Europe, with approximately 55 per cent female founders and 30 per cent ethnic minority founders.
In October 2020, Ada Ventures launched a £250,000 (approx €277K) angel investor programme – Ada’s Angels. The programme aims to help discover a new generation of angel investors who may have otherwise been excluded from the industry.
Since launch, the cohort has made 22 angel investments, 6 of which raised funding from Ada Ventures.
Ada Venture will launch Ada Angels’ second cohort at AdaCon with double the size of the first and select angels from across the whole of the UK.
Check Warner, Founding Partner at Ada Ventures, says, “For all the innovation in the industry, there is nowhere near enough innovation in VC. So we are delighted to launch Fund II, as it demonstrates that our unique and original deal-sourcing system works. When building Fund I, we knew we needed to depart from the traditional way of sourcing deals. So, we tore up the rulebook and deployed Scout and Angels programmes, revolutionising our deal sourcing and leading to us meeting founders we would not have seen. We are constantly working to improve our deal-sourcing programmes and methodology. Still, we are proud to say that it is fairer, it works towards creating fairer access to VC funding, and it leads to phenomenal returns. It works, and it’s great to see the LP community recognising that.”
Established in 2006, the British Business Bank’s Enterprise Capital Funds programme aims to increase the supply of equity capital to high-potential, early-stage UK companies by supporting new and emerging VC fund managers who target the early-stage equity gap.
Ken Cooper, Managing Director, Venture Solutions at the British Business Bank, says. “The British Business Bank’s Enterprise Capital Funds programme is key in helping to develop and maintain effective venture capital provision in the UK, lowering the barriers to entry for emerging fund managers and those targeting under-served areas of the market. The programme currently invests in more than 39 funds with over £1.8bn of finance, supporting more than 700 businesses. Following our commitment to Fund I in 2019, we are pleased to make a cornerstone commitment to Ada’s second Fund to help Ada invest in a diverse range of businesses and founders.”
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