“First” as institutional fund raises crowdfunding to invest in start-ups

Young Gun Mark Pearson is offering the public the chance to back e-commerce VC fund Fuel.Ventures through Seedrs

In what is said to be a world first, MyVoucherCodes.co.uk founder and Young Gun Mark Pearson has opened up his institutional fund Fuel.Ventures to the crowd via crowdfunding platform Seedrs.

Seeking to raise or exceed £500,000, the entrepreneur is asking investors to commit a minimum of £100 to the venture capital (VC) fund – giving members of the public the chance to benefit from previously exclusive e-commerce VC opportunities.

Launched last month, Fuel.Ventures invests in a diverse portfolio of vetted European e-commerce companies with a focus on high growth technology businesses and targets early-stage, seed and Series A rounds.

A serial e-commerce entrepreneur, Pearson started Markco Media, parent company of  MyVoucherCodes.co.uk, from his bedroom with just £300. He sold the multi-national business as part of a £55m deal in 2014, and Fuel.Ventures marks his latest venture.

Pearson commented: “Seedrs mentioned that they’d had other funds raised by accelerator programmes, but this is the first time that someone with my entrepreneurial and investment background has opened up access to a highly curated, exclusive network of deal flow for the crowds to have access to.

“The e-commerce sector is thriving and Fuel.Ventures will be investing in the most ambitious and scalable opportunities. Our mission is to create, invest and grow companies. We will build products people want and need and we will invest in some of Europe’s most exciting early stage companies. Ultimately, we will help grow and build companies with great potential and take them to the next level.”

CEO of Seedrs, Jeff Lynn, added: “The Fuel.Ventures equity crowdfunding campaign marks a unique milestone in the evolution of venture capital. For a highly successful entrepreneur and angel investor to build a highly curated fund with crowd participation is an interesting opportunity for investors large and small.”

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