A $300m VC fund for early stage tech start-ups has launched

Established by Athlone Group, each year 15 start-ups will receive funding along with business development support...

A $300m UK venture capital (VC) fund providing seed and Series A funding for early stage tech start-ups has launched.

Established by billion-pound corporation Athlone Group, Athlone Ventures will see 15 start-ups a year receive funding along with business development support from the firm’s investment partners.

Founded by Coventry-based business mogul Jojar Dhinsa, and developed in partnership with Irish technology entrepreneur Brendan Morrissey, the duo say the fund has been developed to specifically back ‘big ideas’ in the tech and digital arenas that recognise the importance of supporting continuous advances in modern tech.

Founded in 2000 by Dhinsa, private equity firm Athlone Group seeks to combine business success with a “positive global impact”, and directs much of its annual sales of $15bn back into charitable causes.

Already holding a diverse investment portfolio, the group has previously backed businesses in the oil and gas, construction, real estate, education and financial sectors.

A former rock star, Morrissey owns a number of businesses within the entertainment sector, including a talent platform app called Mobstar, a music licensing programme called ProTunes, and a music festival in his native Ireland called BARE in the Woods.

Dhinsa said:

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“Athlone Ventures has been designed to accelerate the growth of tech and digital start-ups, enabling entry level companies to reach key commercial and technical milestones in an impressive timescale.

“Ultimately, we want to help build and grow the businesses of the future, that have been founded by exceptional entrepreneurs, who just require the funding and support to lift their idea off the ground, and strategically place it in the commercial arena.”

Morrissey said:

“Both Jojar and I have spent our careers funding big ideas therefore the launch of Athlone Ventures was an obvious step for us and one we are extremely excited about.

“We very much look forward to working with visionary entrepreneurs who are building disruptive, market-transforming companies and above all Technology Teams who want to make a difference”