Active UK Venture Capital Firms – Growth Business

Corporate venture capital is venture capital provided by large companies to fast-growing start-ups. Companies such as Google, BP and Unilever all have their own CVC divisions supporting UK companies within their sectors.

Unlike standard venture capital firms, CVCs work much more closely with their portfolio companies in developing a particular mutually beneficial technology.

Here we provide an overview of active CVCs in the UK, what they are looking for and how much they are investing.

InMotion Companies

Founded: 2016

Sector focus: Electrification, Metaverse, connectivity, digital services, talent, Industry 4.0

Ticket size: £250,000 – £2 million

Current investments: 17

Outputs: 7

Bio: InMotion Ventures invests from inception to Series B in startups that align with its electrification, connectivity and sustainability strategies.

BP Ventures

Founded: 2006

Sector focus: digital transformation, low carbon products, advanced mobility, carbon management, energy and storage, intelligent raw materials

Ticket size: N/A

Current investments: 30

Outputs: 9

Bio: BP Ventures invests in companies that align with its core activities, including companies that help BP reduce carbon emissions.

Unilever Companies

Founded: 2002

Sector focus: Beauty and well-being, commerce and enabling technologies, B2B/Enterprise technologies

Ticket size: $500,000 to $15 million

Current investments: 60

Outputs: 63

Bio: Unilever is one of the largest consumer goods companies in the world and its venture arm invests in emerging consumer brands and technologies – from seed stage through to Series D.

Legal and general capital

Founded: 2013

Sector focus: Clean energy, commercial real estate, investing, SME financing, housing, data centers

Ticket size: N/A

Current investments: N/A

Outputs: 2

Bio: Legal & General’s investment arm invests in a wide range of sectors, from real estate to energy and finance, with the aim of ‘improving the social and physical environment’.


Founded: 1975

Sector focus: Steel

Ticket size: N/A

Current investments: N/A

Outputs: N/A

Bio: According to Beauhurst, UKSE is the most active CVC in Britain and supports companies involved in the steel sector – helping with investment, loans and premises.

Race answer

Founded: 2014

Sector focus: Deep technology, AI, Internet of Things

Ticket size: $1 million – $5 million

Current investments: 12

Outputs: 8

Bio: Breed Reply invests in deep tech companies across Europe, with a particular focus on AI. It invests in the seed and series A phases.

Indie Growth Fund

Founded: 2014

Sector focus: Creatively

Ticket size: N/A

Current investments: 18

Outputs: N/A

Bio: As Channel 4’s VC arm, Indie Growth Fund invests in start-ups and independent companies within the creative sector and provides support, guidance and strategic advice.


Founded: 2009

Sector focus: Consumer, enterprise, frontier technology and life sciences

Ticket size: N/A

AUM: $8 billion

Current investments: 400

Outputs: 65

Bio: Google’s venture capital arm invests in technology companies across the industry. Formerly known as Google Ventures, GV has so far invested in companies like Nest, Uber, and Slack.

Martlet Capital

Founded: 2011

Sector focus: B2B deep tech, life sciences

Ticket size: Up to £250,000 in the first round

Current investments: 41

Outputs: 7

Bio: With a primary focus on start-ups in the Cambridge area, Martlet Capital focuses on start-ups in AI, machine learning, digital health, quantum technologies and advanced medicine.

Channel 4 Ventures

Founded: 2015

Sector focus: Customer

Ticket size: £1 million – £5 million of media airtime

Current investments: 22

Outputs: 4

Bio: Channel 4 Ventures offers fast-growing companies the opportunity to leverage its advertising spaces in exchange for equity. It is interested in companies in the pre-Series A stage through the pre-IPO stage.

ITV Adventures

Founded: 2020

Sector focus: Digital, consumer

Ticket size: Up to £5 million in advertising

Current investments: 9

Outputs: N/A

Bio: ITV AdVentures provides TV advertising to fast-growing digital-first companies at all stages of development. It aims to partner with start-ups best suited for media attention, such as mass-market consumer brands.

Mouro Capital (formally Santander InnoVentures)

Founded: 2014

Sector focus: Fintech

Ticket size: Up to $15 million

AUM: $400 million

Current investments: 38

Outputs: 10

Bio: Mouro Capital, part of the Santander bank, looks for innovations in the financial sector in all phases of the life cycle.

Sky Startup Investments and Partnerships

Founded: 1995

Sector focus: Media and information technology

Ticket size: N/A

Current investments: 9

Outputs: 11

Bio: Sky’s CVC arm invests in start-ups across Europe, Israel and North America, offering up to £5m of advertising space in return for equity.

Distill companies

Founded: 2013

Sector focus: Drinks

Ticket size: £250,000 – £10 million

AUM: ~£210 million

Current investments: 6

Purchased: 4

Bio: Distill Ventures, the first drinks brand accelerator, invests in alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks brands, with Diageo – owner of drinks brands such as Guinness and Johnnie Walker – as the sole investor.

Shell companies

Founded: 1996

Sector focus: Power, mobility, emissions management, digital, resources

Ticket size: $2m – $5m initial investment

Current investments: 90

Outputs: 15

Bio: Founded in 1996, Shell Ventures was one of the first CVCs in the energy sector. At a time of great change, the company wants to invest in the companies that can help accelerate the transition to net zero.

National network partners

Founded: 2018

Sector focus: Energy

Ticket size: N/A

Current investments: N/A

Outputs: 6

Bio: National Grid Partners invests in companies that make the electricity grid “safer, cleaner and smarter” by investing at all stages of financing.

Centrica innovations

Founded: 2017

Sector focus: Energy

Ticket size: N/A

Current investments: N/A

Outputs: N/A

Bio: Centrica’s CVC arm is looking for start-ups in the energy sector that will complement and support Centrica’s existing activities in energy and digital technology.

RWE Energy transition investments

Founded: 2011

Sector focus: Energy transition

Ticket size: N/A

Current investments: N/A

Outputs: N/A

Bio: RWE Energy Transition Investments supports companies that help with the transition to carbon neutrality in the energy sector by 2040.

SC Ventures

Founded: 2018

Sector focus: Fintech

Ticket size: $1 million – $10 million

Current investments: 22

Outputs: N/A

Bio: SC Ventures by Standard Chartered invests in disruptive fintech in the stages from Series B to pre-IPO, which can be integrated into the company’s product and service offering.

More about venture capital for companies

Founders talk about their experiences with corporate venture capital – Three founders who took on corporate venture capital explain why they partnered with a firm instead of going the conventional venture capital route

#Active #Venture #Capital #Firms #Growth #Business

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