UK-based early-stage VC firm Jenson Funding Partners is ramping up support for startups helping to fuel the green transition with the launch of a new €69.7 million fund. The B Corp-certified firm aims to kickstart the fund in 2023, backing planet-positive startups in the UK.
As awareness grows around the urgent need to reach a net zero economy and society, startups are bringing fresh ideas to get us there. Across Europe, funding has ramped up to support innovators develop their ideas and launch solutions that aim to positively impact the environment. And now, early-stage startups in the UK have a new fund to leverage.
Aurora I Fund
Aiming to back UK-based companies that are helping businesses and consumers reduce their impact on the environment, the fund will target commercially-minded, cost-effective technology solutions that can be easily integrated with the everyday lives of consumers or businesses.
The fund will be deployed in mid-2023 and has a three-year mandate. It’s earmarked for 60 pre-seed and seed stage companies in the first year, 20 follow-ons in the second year, and then a final 10 investments made in the most successful firms.
Tech Nation, the national network for tech entrepreneurs, recently published a report that identified a funding gap for UK climate tech between the seed stage and Series A. It’s this gap that Jenson wants to target, with the plan to put the UK as a global leader in the climate tech market.
Sarah Barber, CEO of Jenson Funding Partners, said: “There are some fantastic companies out there that are busy making greener alternatives affordable and practical. We see this as a critical step to encouraging the mass adoption of more sustainable ways of living and doing business, and an excellent opportunity for investors.”
“Aurora I is the opportunity for us to leverage our track record of successfully backing early stage businesses with the potential to directly impact the way we live and work – and extend what we have already done in discovering some exciting startups with strong sustainability credentials.”
Backing sustainable ideas
Based in the UK, Jenson specialises in working with founders throughout their early-stage growth – from pre-seed to Series A. It’s a B-Corp certified firm, which is pretty unique in the industry and has so far achieved more than 10 exits with an average of 4x returns.
Portfolio companies include The Seam, a company that makes it easier for consumers to find tailors and repair old clothes, and TreeApp, an app through which consumers or businesses can finance the planting of trees in locations around the world. We reported on TreeApp’s most recent funding just last week.
In the process of developing the investment thesis and identifying opportunities, the venture capital firm has taken on two new Venture Partners: co-founders of the sustainable business think tank, Hyve Forum, Associate at the Circular Economy Centre, Cambridge Judge Business School Dr. Samsurin Welch and sustainability-focused serial entrepreneur and fellow Cambridge Judge Business School alumnus Abdulaziz Bin Redha.
Jeffrey Faustin, Chief Investment Officer at Jenson Funding Partners: “Dr. Samsurin and Abdulaziz have been hugely influential in setting up the fund and will continue to play an active role in it. They bring decades of experience advising senior government officials and top executives at some of the world’s largest corporations on sustainability and Net Zero transition. Together we’ve developed what I believe to be a compelling proposition for fast-growing companies and investors.”