Investment engine ADV helps fuel growth of six new tech firms and seed partners

Manchester-based evergreen investment platform provides funds for Startups 100-featured WeFarm and worldwide entrepreneur network Techstars

Accelerated Digital Ventures (ADV), a Manchester-based evergreen investment platform, has announced a series of investments into six digital technology start-ups and early-stage seed partners in the UK.

Backed by Legal & General (L&G), Woodford Investment Management and the British Business Bank (BBB), ADV was launched in January with £150m to invest across the funding lifecycle and help build more start-ups, scale-ups and ‘scale-bigs’.

The six organisations to secure funding are:

  • Care Sourcer – an Edinburgh-based care comparison and matching website aiming to make it quicker and easier to find care
  • CharlieHR – a free human resources platform targeted at small businesses including guided onboarding, a secure team directory and a time off booking system
  • Ignite Accelerator – a distributed start-up support and investment network that provides support to firms UK-wide without the need for relocation
  • MoveGB – the “Netflix of physical activity”, which gives members access to thousands of gyms, classes and studios across the UK
  • Techstars – a worldwide network that helps entrepreneurs succeed by connecting them to other entrepreneurs, mentors, investors and corporate partners
  • WeFarm – the Startups 100-featured free knowledge sharing service that helps small-scale farmers around the world to connect with each other, solving problems, sharing ideas and spreading innovation

ADV partners with and invests in seed partners Ignite and Techstars to identify talented founders and nurture early-stage businesses to product market fit in a bid to create a “long-term pipeline of seed extension and venture opportunities”.

Lee Strafford, ADV CEO, commented: “There are now thousands of start-ups setting up across the UK and Ireland.  This growth has been hugely fostered by seed partners – the early stage funds, incubators, accelerators and angels – which commit time and funding to helping these businesses grow.

“However we calculate there is still a circa £3.5bn venture gap in the UK. ADV is committed to creating a nationwide venture platform, to plug this gap by funding digital technology companies with institutional capital right across the lifecycle, from seed through to scaling big.”

Kenny Ewan, CEO at WeFarm, added: “WeFarm’s key innovation is in the creation of the world’s first peer-to-peer knowledge sharing network for small-scale farmers. Already, over 170,000 farmers are using WeFarm’s service across Kenya, Uganda and Peru – in an industry where less than 0.1% of mobile apps ever reach half that number. Support from ADV will enable us to continue to scale and invest in the world’s 500 million small-scale farmers.”


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