18 Jun 2020

New boost in funding for early stage tech for good businesses

By Dama Sathianathan

Bethnal Green Ventures (BGV) – Europe’s leading early stage tech for good VC – announces £3m new investment from Big Society Capital (BSC) today. 

This boost in funding comes at a crucial time for early-stage companies, as the funding landscape is becoming increasingly precarious as a result of COVID-19. Research from Plexal and Beauhurst shows that funding for UK startups raising for the first time fell by 83% between March and May 2020, compared to the same period the previous year. Similarly, a survey with 250 angels highlighted that 51% of those surveyed would be investing less in 2020, which only adds to the wider investor community becoming more risk-averse and increased challenges in accessing capital for early-stage founders.  

This new funding from BSC, matched with BGV’s Tech for Good SEIS/EIS Funds, guarantees that BGV will continue to invest in early-stage tech for good companies over the next three years. The funding will be used to invest in pre-seed and seed-stage tech for good entrepreneurs and further support BGV’s investment model to provide follow-on funding to its portfolio teams. Currently, applications for BGV’s 12-week Tech for Good programme are open until 21st June 2020. 

 

Driving diversity in tech for good 

Additionally, BGV is committed to publishing data on its gender parity of its investment decisions, In 2019, 22p of every £1 invested went to female-founder businesses, and 26p of every £1 to mixed-founder teams, whereas the UK industry average is less than 1p of every £1 for female-founder teams and 10p for mixed-founder teams. For all our new investments, we’re attempting to capture more diversity data at the application stage for the programme as well, in order to double down on our efforts to provide access to funding and support to founders from all walks of life. 

Commenting on the need to boost early-stage investments for tech for good entrepreneurs, BGV’s CEO and Managing Partner Paul Miller said: 

“Since our inception in 2012, tech for good has always been central to our investment thesis. Now more than ever, we see the need to invest in entrepreneurs using technology to tackle pressing social and environmental challenges to build a better post-pandemic world.” 

Big Society Capital is the UK’s biggest wholesale investor into impact investment. Camilla Parke, Investment Director at Big Society Capital, said:

“We’re delighted to continue partnering with BGV and support their award-winning work in tech for good. We’re excited to provide early-stage impact driven founders with the opportunity to build on their ideas for a better society and planet. We’re committed to continue our support for the growth of tech for good with BGV and connect more impact investors into this space.”

 

Applications for BGV’s early-stage Tech for Good programme close on Sunday 21st June 2020. Head to our application page for more details.