Despite the oncoming Brexit, London continues to shine as a hub for startups and innovation. In fact, London startups brought in over $2.4B in venture funding in 2018, which was the most of any city in Europe.
Also known as "Silicon Roundabout", London's strong startup community has helped birth some of the world's fastest growing technology companies, including Revolut, Improbable, Shazam, Deliveroo, and TransferWise, just to name a few.
One of the best reasons to build a startup in London is the vast number of funding resources in the city. If you’re looking for investment for your startup in London, then check out this massive list of some of the most important funding sources, regardless of how far along your startup is.
The Founder Institute is currently enrolling in London. Apply today to build a startup with London's top entrepreneurs and investors!
Early Stage Funding in London
Notable Seed Accelerators in London
A "seed accelerator" is a cohort-based program that typically accepts teams (not solo-founders) with a product (functional prototype or live product) and some form of traction (for example, user, revenue, or team growth). If accepted to a seed-accelerator, a company typically receives a small investment ($15,000-$150,000) in exchange for equity (6-10%). The goal of a seed-accelerator is to help companies accelerate their product or user growth during the program (typically 3-6 months) in order to raise a proper Angel or Seed Round of funding at the "Demo Day" that concludes the program.
Notable Angel Investor Groups and Micro VCs in London
Angel investor groups are networks, or syndicates, of angel investors who pool their resources together to invest more money than would typically be issued with a private angel investment. Most angel networks focus their efforts on sectors or verticals in which members have experience or knowledge, although they are usually open to investments in other areas. In general, investors in groups contribute funds to the group, and a professional syndicate management team chooses the investments.
In addition, Micro VCs are firms that invest smaller amounts of money than traditional VC firms, and typically at earlier stages of the company lifecycle. Micro VCs will usually commit less than $500,000 as an initial investment, but many firms will invest larger amounts of money in subsequent investments.
Growth Stage Funding
Notable Venture Capital Firms in London
Venture Capital ("VC") firms provide startup or growth equity capital and/or loan capital to promising ventures for returns that are higher than market interest rates, and typically focus on later stage companies. VC firms only invest in companies that have long-term growth potential of at least 10X their investment, and that already have considerable traction (very fast revenue or user growth), a strong team, and a viable product or service. Because of these high standards, generally less than .1% of businesses are funded by venture capital.
There are also many different types of VC firms. The first (and lowest) funding level for VCs is typically called a "Seed Round", which is appropriate for smaller companies that have just recently generated traction and need capital to fuel the fire of growth. After that, rounds of subsequent funding are categorized by letter ("Series-A", "Series-B", "Series-C", and so on), with the investment amount (and maturity of the business receiving funding) getting larger as the letters progress down the alphabet. Some firms invest across many (or all) of these types of rounds, but most specifically focus on one or two of these stages.
Are you a solo-founder, or is your company or idea too early for these funding options?
The Founder Institute is an idea-stage accelerator that works with solo-entrepreneurs, and teams, during the earliest stages of building a business. Through an intensive 3.5 month program, FI participants build their business through a proven structured process, and receive feedback and assistance from over 30+ successful entrepreneurs and investors in London. Upon completing the program, Graduates join a global network of entrepreneurs and receive ongoing help to get funding and build their business. FI Graduates have raised over $950M in funding, and are building some of the world's fastest growing companies.
Learn more about the Founder Institute at FI.co, join a free startup event in London, or apply to build a startup in London today.