TrueStart retail accelerator boosted by $5m seed funding

Backing will support development of retail and consumer start-ups on programme

Recently launched consumer and retail start-up accelerator TrueStart today announced it has closed a $5m seed funding round, set to back the young businesses on its programme with support and cash investment.

Launched in January, TrueStart was created following a partnership between start-up focused venture capital firm True Capital and commercial property company Land Securities, and claims to be one of the only incubators in Europe focused on the retail and consumer sectors.

Based in Francis House in Victoria, TrueStart’s 4,500 sq ft ‘innovation hub’ houses up to 20 start-ups on a rolling six-month programme –  providing them with mentoring, support, networking and potential venture capital investment.

Start-ups accepted onto the programme will typically receive cash investments of £25,000 to £50,000, in exchange for TrueStart taking an average 10% stake in the company.

Three start-ups have already secured places on the programme, and TrueStart told TechCrunch it was looking for early-stage retail or consumer start-ups with products, technologies or services that had the potential to disrupt some aspect of their industry, such as in-store technology, social commerce or data analytics.

The $5m funding, from undisclosed sources, will be used to underpin the mentoring aspect of the programme with a concrete investment fund, which TrueStart founder Matt Truman told TechCrunch would be used to potentially “take an entrepreneur all the way from seed to being a multi-million pound company, knowing the funding is there if they are successful.”

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