Concept Ventures launches £50m pre-seed fund following backing from the British Business Bank

Concept Ventures (Concept), formerly known as RLC Ventures, has launched an oversubscribed £50m pre-seed fund (the Fund) – including a £30m cornerstone commitment from the British Business Bank’s Enterprise Capital Funds (ECF) programme – to close the ever-increasing funding gap at pre-seed and create the largest, dedicated pre-seed fund in the UK.

Launched in 2018, Concept has recorded a string of impressive early successes. To date, the team has backed 100+ founders at the pre-seed stage, with Concept backed-founders seeing a 71% graduation rate from pre-seed onward (twice as high as the industry average). With two exits within the last two years (including Cliff.ai which was acquired by Gtmhub in June), prior funds are displaying strong returns.

Concept Ventures will invest in pre-seed stage founders reshaping how we “work, play, and learn”, writing cheques from £100k up to £600k and offering founders the flexibility to shape or join their rounds. They plan to back 60+ start-ups over the next four years.

The Fund is also deeply committed to running a values-led organisation and pledges 1% of the total carry pool to charities of a founder’s choosing. Following a successful exit last year, Concept funded a school in India, providing education for over 300 children per year.

Reece Chowdhry, Founder and General Partner of Concept Ventures, comments: “There is a major gap in the pre-seed ecosystem, with too few funds offering dedicated pre-seed expertise. We are completely focused on this critical stage of a company’s life cycle and are able to provide the funding, expertise and network they need to succeed. We’re deeply committed to setting our portfolio up for future success. We’re very proud of what we’ve achieved to date and to have that recognised by the British Business Bank, is a humbling and exciting milestone.

“We are looking forward to making more personality-led investments in companies transforming how we work, play and learn, and doing so under our new name – Concept 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.

Ken Cooper, Managing Director, Venture Solutions at the British Business Bank, comments: “The British Business Bank’s Enterprise Capital Funds programme is key in helping to develop and maintain effective venture capital provision in the UK, lowering the barriers to entry for emerging fund managers and for those targeting under-served areas of the market.

“Our cornerstone commitment to Concept Ventures will help them to provide finance and support to young and diverse, high-potential businesses at the pre-seed stage, helping to close the early stage equity funding gap.”

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