London’s social impact accelerator BGV plans seed fund

London-centered ‘social impact’ accelerator, Bethnal Green Ventures, which backs pre-seed startups with suggestions for using tech to tackle social and/or environmental challenges, has taken £1.three million in funding from 3 social tech and innovation funders: Huge Modern society Funds, Nominet Believe in and Nesta.

BVG says it is intention with the new raise, its 3rd, is to assistance social effect startups by way of far more of their to start with steps — preferably up to seed phase in foreseeable future, not just helping teams speed up early stage ‘tech for good’ suggestions.

At this point BVG has invested a total of £1.4M in 86 startups since first opening for purposes again in March 2012. Of these, it says 56 companies are even now lively, with its portfolio possessing collectively raised more than £23M in more funding, and the organizations possessing an approximated 6.five million individuals using their merchandise and companies.

The fund’s current product combines a two times-annually, twelve-week accelerator software in which chosen startups acquire a £20,000 expense (in exchange for 6% equity), alongside with mentoring and access to co-functioning space in London.

Previous yr it also expanded to be capable to offer a more £50k to startups in the cohort. But it’s evidently hoping to go a phase more even now — aiming to develop a seed fund to assistance far more companies to the subsequent phase.

It says the funding it is having now will be used to establish the planned “later phase effect expense products”, as properly as for increasing its operations and making more partnerships — presumably to help it raise the money for the hoped for seed fund.

A BVG spokeswoman confirmed it will also have “more capacity” to do investments up to £50k in its cohort startups, “usually in the type of a convertible note”. She said the approach is to do 20 accelerator phase investments this yr, in addition ten to twelve comply with on investments.

Commenting on the raise in a statement, BGV CEO Paul Miller, added: “We’ve proved our accelerator product performs, but it is not adequate on its very own. Startups call for ongoing assistance and funding to scale up their operations, this is primarily correct for startups focused on social effect. Previous yr we expanded our provide by remaining capable to make investments up to £50,000 in fantastic teams right after the accelerator phase. This yr we’re preparing a fund to be capable to again alumni and other tech for very good ventures with subsequent phase money. This will help to plug a notable hole in seed-phase effect expense obtainable to startups in the tech for very good space.”

BVG’s spokeswoman mentioned that when it arrives to the social effect funding space it is “often” the guide investor part that is missing. “Angels are fantastic and definitely plugging a hole but anyone needs to set the phrases, and we feel we can do that, primarily in our part as an effect investor,” she informed us.

In phrases of which ‘tech for good’ early phase startups encounter the biggest funding hole problem, she mentioned it is a dilemma across the board but also noted it can be far more of an issue for these with “large sluggish moving customers” — such as nearby authorities or the UK’s Nationwide wellbeing Service — or else these with “vulnerable end users requiring a dependable method to growth”.

The fund’s broad themes within its ‘social impact’ mission remain wellbeing, education, sustainability and democracy. But the spokeswoman mentioned it is also functioning with a few companions to focus on some distinct locations.

“For instance we’re searching at startups concentrating on the gig economic system and techniques to increase potential customers for small paid staff. We’re also fascinated in answers for young individuals going through many down sides,” she added.

One particular BVG portfolio corporation we protected recently is Fairphone: a European smartphone startup that is made a modular phone style and design aimed at encouraging end users to hold onto the exact machine for more time — thereby decreasing the environmental effect linked with possessing a smartphone.

A further, DrDoctor, is a hospital reserving system which BVG says it used by far more than four million NHS individuals in the British isles.

U.S. startup factory Y Combinator has also, in new yrs, positioned far more of an emphasis on supporting startups aiming to have a vast social and economic effect.







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