Here is our press release:
One of the UK’s longest-running and most active early-stage investors launches a new pre-seed-to-Series A fund with Venture Partners from Cambridge University
Jenson Funding Partners, the UK-based early-stage venture capital investor, has launched a new fund, Aurora I, for pre-seed-to-Series A stage companies developing innovative solutions that make the transition to Net Zero accessible to all.
The venture capital firm, which is one of a small number to be B Corp certified in the industry and has achieved more than 10 exits with an average of 4x returns, aims to start deployment of the fund in mid-2023.
Tech Nation, the national network for tech entrepreneurs, recently published a report that identified a funding gap for UK climate tech between seed stage and Series A. Aurora will target this gap and will be deployed over three years: with 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.
In a bid to support 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.
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.”
Potential investments will be scouted using Jenson’s extensive existing network of universities, accelerators, VCs, incubators, and corporate advisors. In line with Jenson’s existing portfolio strategy, regional investments will be a key component of Aurora I.
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, said of the appointments: “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.”
The venture capital firm has a history of investing in early-stage companies in the sustainability space. 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.