Aviva invests £10m as it backs Brent Hoberman’s Founders Factory

Brent Hoberman

Aviva will invest £10 million in start-ups through a partnership with a business set up with Brent Hoberman, the co-founder of Lastminute.com.

The British insurer has been working with Hoberman’s business, Founders Factory, since 2016 and will extend its partnership for five years. Aviva’s investment will fund the growth of seven start-ups a year, it said.

Hoberman set up the business, which helps new businesses establish themselves and grow with Henry Lane Fox, the brother of Martha Lane Fox, who had set up the internet holidays pioneer business Lastminute.com with Hoberman in 1998.

Aviva’s partnership with Founders Factory will focus on fintech. Ben Luckett, Aviva’s chief innovation officer, said the arrangement would allow the insurer to be “at the forefront of the new ideas and technology which will make customers’ lives simpler”.

Hoberman said: “The UK’s fintech ecosystem continues to dominate in Europe and the £18 billion investment into the sector is second only the US. It is the gold standard market that is the envy of others.”

About 200 businesses have been created in connection with Founders Factory and have raised £400 million of funding. Among the businesses created through its partnership with Aviva so far are fintechs — Acre, a recruitment specialist, Shepper, which carries out inspection and information capture on properties and assets, and Tembo, which helps first-time buyers.

Founders Factory combines access to capital and specialist help for start-ups. Of its portfolio of 200 firms, 45 have been built from scratch inside its Venture Studio and have gone on to raise more than £400 million in funding.