Octopus Investments

The venture fund that helped Alex Chesterman accelerate Zoopla's growth, Octopus is one of the go-to firms for web, mobile and e-commerce businesses

Fund name: Octopus Investments, alias: Octopus Ventures
Investor category: Venture capital
Based in: London
Website: www.octopusinvestments.com


Established in 1999, Octopus Investments is the parent company of Octopus Ventures and has backed some of the UK’s most successful small and medium-sized businesses.

Investment criteria:

Octopus Investments has funded more than 80 businesses to date including Zoopla – now valued at over $1bn –  Graze, Secret Escapes and YPlan. It claims to manage over £5bn in assets and typically invests between £250,000 to £5bn initially with the ability to invest throughout the lifecycle of a business. It regularly co-invests with other leading VC firms such as Index Ventures and Accel Partners and its Ventures arm tends to centre on small and medium companies in mobile, e-commerce, web and security. Its general investments are more far reaching in terms of sectors with £1m to £100m funding available for businesses in renewable energy, healthcare, property finance and corporate lending.

Size of fund:

$400m approximately.

Portfolio company:

Speculated to be one of the largest Series A investments ever made in a UK start-up, in February 2015 Octopus participated in an $11m round in London-based social shopping business Shopa. Launched in 2012, Shopa enables retailers to track and analyse social interactions around their products across any platform or device in real-time. Octopus Investments’ Luke Hake said that Shopa will “quickly carve itself a place alongside other heavyweight global retailers”.

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