● Octopus Ventures has launched a new investment team specialising in consumer businesses, building on existing specialisms in health, money and deep tech
● It has already had significant success backing pioneering consumer businesses, including Zoopla, Secret Escapes, Depop, Graze.com, Elvie, Cazoo, Sofar Sounds and Tails.com
● The wider team has also grown by 45% following nine new hires, as Octopus Ventures plans to dial up investment activity
Octopus Ventures, part of Octopus Group and one of the largest and most active VCs in Europe, today announces the launch of a specialist consumer team and scale up of its wider portfolio team by 45% with nine new hires. The announcement signals Octopus Ventures’ intention to dial up its investment activity, despite the market uncertainty caused by Covid-19.
The new consumer team will invest in technology that reinvents our everyday lives: how we live, work, travel, play, rest and recuperate, and is looking for world beating consumer-facing companies that put the customer at the centre of everything they do. The creation of the team, which is led by Rebecca Hunt, formalises Octopus Ventures’ deep expertise in an area where it has already had significant success, having previously backed other pioneering consumer businesses such as Zoopla, Secret Escapes, Cazoo, Depop, Graze.com, Elvie, Sofar Sounds and Tails.com.
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The nine new hires since September, which include two Investment Managers, five Associates and two Analysts, take the total size of the portfolio team to 28, making it one of the largest in Europe. This includes 25 investment professionals and three in its specialist talent team, which is dedicated to helping portfolio companies hire the best talent and establish the skills and processes required when scaling quickly.
Alliott Cole, CEO of Octopus Ventures, said:
“We’re fortunate to have backed some phenomenal entrepreneurs building consumer businesses over the years, so it’s exciting to be able to formalise our expertise with the launch of our new specialist team. There are some big shifts taking place in how we all live, work and play, and we look forward to backing the pioneers delivering incredible customer experiences that drive forward the next wave of change.
“Our experience investing through the 2008 financial crash has informed our approach in recent months, as many of today’s most successful tech companies have emerged from periods of peak macro-economic uncertainty. There are big problems to be solved in each of our specialist areas, and there now exists a potent mix of research and innovation, talent, and experience in Europe, combined with a belief and ambition to build businesses worth hundreds of billions. That opportunity is what gives us the confidence to scale our team so significantly and we’re delighted to have them all onboard.”