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Bethnal Green Ventures announces £33 million first close of new fund to back 100 tech for good startups

Bethnal Green Ventures (BGV), the pioneering ‘tech for good’ venture capital firm, has announced the first close of its latest fund, which is set to continue its track record of investing in technology for good.

To date, a total of £33 million has been committed to the fund by investors including the British Business Bank, through its Enterprise Capital Funds programme, M&G Catalyst, Big Society Capital and Peter Bristot, Managing Director of 22 Ventures.

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.

BGV will use the capital to back one hundred new ventures over the next four years through their Tech for Good Programme. Each venture selected for the programme will receive a £60,000 investment for 7% equity. BGV will then make follow-on investments into the most promising ventures that complete the programme.

BGV has been at the forefront of supporting innovative startups that address pressing global challenges for the past decade. It has backed 177 ventures through its highly regarded Tech for Good Programme and helped create the tech for good movement in the UK through a series of ‘firsts’ including becoming the first UK VC firm to certify as a B Corp in 2015.

BGV’s impressive portfolio of companies have consistently made a positive impact on society and the environment, demonstrating the incredible potential of technology to drive positive change as well as deliver returns to investors. Successful exits include science collaboration platform Overleaf and ethical smartphone company Fairphone.

The BGV team, led by Managing Partners Melanie Hayes and Paul Miller has one of the strongest records on diversity and inclusion in European venture capital. For the last three years BGV has been the top ranking UK firm for their efforts in diversity & inclusion in the global Inclusive PE & VC Index. This fund aims to make at least half the investments into ventures founded by women.

This latest fund, the largest in BGV’s history, will enable the firm to make more significant follow-on investments into portfolio companies at pre-seed and seed stage. While impact investing has grown considerably over the past decade, there is still a funding gap for startups at this stage.

Bethnal Green Ventures is now inviting founders to apply for funding. The deadline for applications for their Spring 2024 Programme is 7th January 2024.

Managing Partner of Bethnal Green Ventures, Melanie Hayes said:

We firmly believe the companies at the top of the FTSE and the Nasdaq in 10 to 20 years time will be those that can demonstrate their positive social and environmental impact as well as their financial success. It’s our job to find and support those companies when they’re just starting out.