Octopus launches $140m fund

The fund is dedicated to follow on investments into existing companies within the Octopus portfolio, as well as having the opportunity to back later stage high growth businesses new to Octopus.

London-based Octopus Ventures has a proven track record of helping build exceptional global businesses, including Zoopla Property Group, Secret Escapes, SwiftKey and graze.com. The Octopus Opportunities fund will see Octopus invest between £250,000 and £25 million into Europe’s most talented entrepreneurs, enabling the team to back businesses from inception through to the later stages of development.

The first investment from the Octopus Opportunities fund has already been made, with Octopus leading the recent $60m round with Google Ventures into Secret Escapes, the London-based members only luxury travel site.

Alex Macpherson, head of Octopus Ventures, said: “At Octopus we seek unusually talented entrepreneurs, and we want to be there supporting them from the beginning of their business journey to the later stages of company growth and maturity. The Octopus Opportunities fund is a really exciting development that enables us to keep travelling with some of our existing entrepreneurs for longer, while also providing additional funding to find new investment opportunities.

“We are often one of the first investors into a startup and have long felt comfortable investing at the very earliest stage of a company’s life. It’s a long term partnership and we want to be there supporting the management team as they continue to realise the full potential of their businesses during the course of its lifetime, working to achieve growth for the team, the company and our own investors.”

“Recent years have seen significant changes in both the London and wider European technology markets; the rise of $1 billion business valuations across Europe has been particularly well documented. As the European ecosystem continues to develop and mature, this $140m fund allows Octopus to continue backing talented entrepreneurs from an early stage, but then to provide crucial on-going support, remaining an investment partner as they go on to build big, enduring businesses.

Alex Saint, CEO of Secret Escapes, said: “Secret Escapes first worked with Octopus in 2011, and they have always been great partners and supporters. During this latest investment round it was fantastic to be able to lean on the Octopus team – having an investor intent on working towards the Company’s goals as well as their own meant that we were able to keep the momentum going throughout the funding process. The long-term relationships we have built with the team at Octopus over the last four years has played a crucial role in Secret Escape’s own development and we are pleased to be progressing these further as we continue our company’s journey.”

Bluetower Associates LLP advised Octopus on the fund launch. Alex Macpherson commented: “We are pleased to have worked with the team at Bluetower Associates again and look forward to working with them in the future.”