Meet Stephen Page, CEO at Pre-Seed Specialist Fund: SFC Capital

SFC is the UK pre-seed specialist fund and the most active venture fund in the UK with over 350 investments to date. Our mission is to invest and support the most innovative start-ups across all sectors from their first funding round. SFC was founded in 2012 and we will celebrate our 10 year anniversary this year.

 
 

 

How did you come up with the idea for the company?

 

Most VCs – even those who call themselves early-stage – tend to invest at a stage when start-ups are generating consistent revenue and have proven their product-market fit. There is historically a lack of funds active at the very early-stage end of the market – particularly in the UK regions – meaning that angel investors are often solely responsible for funding pre- or early-revenue start-ups.

We launched in 2012 to fill this market gap by acting as the institutional lead investor on pre-seed investments (SEIS), working alongside business angels and providing substantial capital and support to start-ups from their first funding rounds. What is unique about SFC is how early it can invest (pre-seed) and the wide range of sectors that we target, including sectors traditionally not as popular with VC funds (hardware, engineering etc.).

 

 

How has the company evolved over the last couple of years?

 

We have experienced exponential growth over the last two years with £37m invested in more than 180 companies since the beginning of 2020. The team has also grown from 15 to 20 members.

 

What can we hope to see from SFC in the future?

 

Three main areas we’re focusing on:

We want to double down and keep up our current growth rate. Our goal is to invest in 100 new companies per year and to grow the portfolio to 500 companies by the end of 2023, making it one of the largest portfolios of early stage investments in Europe.

We are increasingly focused on Green and Climate Tech companies and are planning to launch an “Earth” seed fund focused on sustainability.

We are committed to achieve gender parity in our portfolio and to invest in at least 50% of women led teams (currently 40%).