Venture Capital: Ada Ventures Closes $50M Fund For Early-Stage, ‘Overlooked’ Founders

Ada’s mission is to make venture capital more diverse and approachable.

UK-based Ada Ventures is a VC with a difference. It looks out for founders and markets missed by the mainstream of venture finance. (Read: Bold ideas and courageous founders that see something from an entirely different perspective – whoever and wherever they may be.) Ada just announced that it had closed a $50 million fund. (CITY A.M.)

According to Tech Crunch, Big Society Capital, an entity owned by the UK government, as well as the British Business Bank made significant investments in the fund.

The latter is the cornerstone investor in the vehicle, having put in money through its Enterprise Capital Funds (ECF) program, which supports new and emerging VC fund managers.

Founders with diverse backgrounds are usually unable to secure ‘warm handshake introductions’ and are thus ignored by the typical angel investor. According to the British Business Bank, these investors are mostly male, white and 55 years of age on average.

ADA Ventures’ investing strategy

The firm typically is a pre-Series A investor in the range of £250K – £500K, in UK technology startups at the post-product, pre-revenue stage, having global ambitions. These firms should be tackling humanitarian and societal issues such as mental health, workers’ rights, and affordable childcare.

Ada has already invested in eight seed-stage companies with half of them run by female chief executives.

Ada has a network of “Ada Scouts” that locate opportunities matching its investing strategy. The team of 58 Scouts has delivered 10% of the firm’s deal flow to date. Ada plans to expand this network of Scouts, according to FINSMES. It plans to focus them on the LGBTQ+ community, disabled entrepreneurs, and regions outside of London.

COVID-19 and George Floyd

Referring to the virus pandemic and the killing of George Floyd, founding partner Check Warner said: “These events have provided the backdrop of the first year of deployment from Ada Ventures Fund I. In light of these events, the Ada Ventures strategy feels more poignant – and urgent – than it has perhaps ever been.”

The fund’s initial hard cap was £35 million, with the founders not sure if they could raise even £30 million. But the raise was significantly oversubscribed.

Related Story:    Yale Endowment’s Legendary Boss Swensen Moves To Change “Mostly White, Mostly Male”                                              

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