Seed stage VC Episode 1 Partners raises £60m fund to back early-stage start-ups

London-based, Episode 1 will invest between £500k to £2m per round into start-ups "with real insight into markets that are emerging or evolving"

Episode 1 Partners, the London-based seed stage VC firm, has raised a new £60m fund – which it will use to invest in early-stage start-ups with high-growth potential.

An Enterprise Capital Fund (ECF), raised with the support of the British Business Bank, the UK government’s economic development bank, Episode 1 will use the fresh cash to invest in start-ups at seed and Series A stage.

Pledging to back between £500k to £2m per round, Episode 1 says its looking for businesses “with real insight into markets that are emerging or evolving.”

Having previously backed the likes of Carwow, Triptease and AimBrain, the VC’s second early stage tech fund (which was oversubscribed) is 60% bigger than its first.

Meet the investor: Simon Murdoch, Episode 1 Ventures

Paul McNabb, co-managing partner of Episode 1, said:

“There is no shortage of funds for the best entrepreneurs, but in our experience much of it is undifferentiated – there are few investors with the commitment to roll up their sleeves and get on with the heavy lifting that turns innovation into operations”

“We realise that for companies at this stage, the next handful of decisions they make are potentially transformational – and we plan to be there to help”.

Simon Murdoch [pictured above], founding partner at Episode 1 and ex-Amazon UK CEO, said:

“There is an enormous amount of experience at Episode 1. Whether that’s leadership positions at Amazon, Cisco or Elektra – or indeed starting and exiting their own companies – there are few funds at our stage that can offer this range and depth of experience.

“If I were to be a founder again, this experience is what I would be looking for.”

Ken Cooper, managing director of Venture Solutions at the British Business Bank, said:

“We’re very happy to be investing once again in Episode 1, providing £36m of investment to their new fund. This is our 26th such commitment under our ECF programme, which now has a total investment capacity approaching £1.1bn.

“It is encouraging that the team was able to launch a significantly bigger fund with a bolder ambition, showing there is a quality of opportunity out there in the UK market for such investment”