Diversity-focused British VC firm closes inaugural fund with high-profile backers

By Anna Irrera (Reuters) - A new London-based venture capital aimed at funding tech companies whose founders come from traditionally under-represented groups said on Tuesday it closed its inaugural fund with backing from investors including TransferWise co-founder Taavet Hinrikus and later stage investment firm Atomico. Ada Ventures, whose name is inspired by computer science pioneer Ada Lovelace, plans to invest the $34 million (£26.50 million) fund in UK technology companies aimed at underserved customer segments or whose founders are traditionally overlooked by VCs because of gender, race or background, it said. Other fund backers include the British Business Bank, which will make the cornerstone investment, U.S.-based BlueSky Capital, Dubai-based Rasmala and Silicon Valley law firm Wilson Sonsini, the company said

Reuters December 11, 2019 06:06:56 IST
Diversity-focused British VC firm closes inaugural fund with high-profile backers

Diversityfocused British VC firm closes inaugural fund with highprofile backers

By Anna Irrera

(Reuters) - A new London-based venture capital aimed at funding tech companies whose founders come from traditionally under-represented groups said on Tuesday it closed its inaugural fund with backing from investors including TransferWise co-founder Taavet Hinrikus and later stage investment firm Atomico.

Ada Ventures, whose name is inspired by computer science pioneer Ada Lovelace, plans to invest the $34 million (£26.50 million) fund in UK technology companies aimed at underserved customer segments or whose founders are traditionally overlooked by VCs because of gender, race or background, it said.

Other fund backers include the British Business Bank, which will make the cornerstone investment, U.S.-based BlueSky Capital, Dubai-based Rasmala and Silicon Valley law firm Wilson Sonsini, the company said.

This year $92 of every $100 invested in tech companies in Europe went to founding teams that were all men, according to a study by Atomico. Around 84% of founders who raised external funding were white and 82% were university educated, the research also found.

Ada Ventures hopes to help change this by providing early stage equity to more diverse teams, founding partner Francesca Warner said in an interview.

"We felt like there needed to be a fund properly breaking down barriers for people who felt they couldn't identify with the current venture capital options," Warner said.

The firm will also invest in technology companies developing products and services aimed at overlooked segments, including ageing populations, women and people under 20, it said.

It will make initial investments of around 500,000 pounds ($641,500) and reserve around half of the fund for follow-on investments, it said.

It has already backed seven companies including Polipop, a company developing a flushable sanitary pads, and Juno Bio, a biotech company focused on decoding the vaginal microbiome to increase the success of IVF.

(Reporting by Anna Irrera in New York; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.

also read

Snow-struck Madrid struggles with cleanup as severe frost grips Spain
World

Snow-struck Madrid struggles with cleanup as severe frost grips Spain

By Elena Rodriguez and Belén Carreño MADRID (Reuters) - Authorities struggled to clear ice and fallen trees from the streets of Madrid on Tuesday and temperatures in parts of Spain hit record lows after a snowstorm wrought havoc across the country at the weekend. Early jubilation at the historic snowfall, which saw skiers gliding through the streets and mass snowball fights, gave way to frustration as most public transport remained stalled and pedestrians avoided the icy streets. "You in Madrid are not ready for this," said Demetrio, a Ukrainian living in Madrid, who did not give his last name.

Trump disavows any responsibility for his supporters' Jan. 6 attack
World

Trump disavows any responsibility for his supporters' Jan. 6 attack

By Steve Holland and Andrea Shalal JOINT BASE ANDREWS, Md./WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump, facing impeachment on a charge of "incitement of insurrection" on Tuesday disavowed responsibility for his supporters' violent invasion of the U.S. Capitol last week and said his remarks before the siege were appropriate.

Renault and Plug Power to develop fuel-cell commerical vehicles
News & Analysis

Renault and Plug Power to develop fuel-cell commerical vehicles

PARIS (Reuters) - French carmaker Renault and U.S. hydrogen specialist Plug Power have joined forces to develop hydrogen-powered light commercial vehicles, they said on Tuesday. The companies have signed a memorandum of understanding to launch a France-based 50-50 joint venture by the end of the first half of 2021, targeting more than 30% share of the fuel cell-powered light commercial vehicle market in Europe, their joint statement said