Leading entrepreneur asks investors to join in world-first crowd investment fund

Fuel.Ventures, a newly formed venture capital fund led by one of Europe’s leading technology entrepreneurs and investors, Mark Pearson, has partnered with Europe’s leading equity crowdfunding platform Seedrs.

The partnership  has formed an innovative crowd funded investment vehicle aimed at democratising access to high growth European e-commerce venture capital investments.

Aiming to raise £500K or more from investments of as little as £100, Fuel.Ventures will open up traditionally exclusive technology venture capital investment opportunities to everyday investors.

Mark Pearson becomes the first successfully exited entrepreneur and angel investor to set up an investment fund and open it up to the crowds.

The Fuel.Ventures team has a proven record of finding, vetting and nurturing high growth very early stage e-commerce business that possess the ability to scale quickly; opportunities that will now be available to the crowd.

As such, by partnering with Seedrs, Fuel.Ventures plans to give members of the public the chance to benefit from e-commerce venture capital investment opportunities for the first time.

Fuel.Ventures invests in a vetted and diversified portfolio of EIS/SEIS eligible European e-commerce companies. The fund will focus on high-growth technology-based transactional businesses from incubation and inception (super-early seed), to seed and post launch (late seed), as well as series A businesses showing exceptional signs of growth.

The fund will be led by Mark Pearson, a serial e-commerce entrepreneur who started Markco Media, the parent company of discount website MyVoucherCodes.co.uk for just £300 from his bedroom. It grew to be a multi-national company which sold in 2014 in a deal worth up to £55m.

Mark’s 10 personal investments (including as an early investor in Ve interactive, an e-commerce SAAS provider now valued at £1.25bn) have significantly outperformed European Venture Capital, which has delivered returns of just 2.1 per cent a year since 1990, according to Thompson Reuters.

From today investors can access the Fuel.Ventures e-commerce investment pipeline, available on the Seedrs platform

Commenting on the launch Mark Pearson said: “Seedrs mentioned that they’d had other funds raised by accelerator programmes, but this is the first time that someone with my entrepreneurial and investment background has opened up access to a highly curated, exclusive network of deal flow for the crowds to have access to.

“The e-commerce sector is thriving and Fuel.Ventures will be investing in the most ambitious and scalable opportunities. Our mission is to create, invest and grow companies. We will build products people want and need and we will invest in some of Europe’s most exciting early stage companies. Ultimately, we will help grow and build companies with great potential and take them to the next level.”

Jeff Lynn, CEO of Seedrs commented: “The Fuel.Ventures equity crowdfunding campaign marks a unique milestone in the evolution of venture capital. For a highly successful entrepreneur and angel investor to build a highly curated fund with crowd participation is an interesting opportunity for investors large and small.”

“By making it possible for people to invest directly into a fund carefully curated and managed by such an experienced team, Seedrs and Fuel.Ventures are stepping one step closer to truly democratising finance and breaking down the barriers between crowd investors and traditional City gatekeepers.”