Funding / Entrepreneur
INVESTING Individual Investor Financial Adviser Institutional Investor FUNDING Entrepreneur Real Estate

Got a question for us?

Our frequently asked questions might have the answer

I’m looking for pre-seed investment. How can I apply?

Fill in our form and send us your deck

If we think we’re a good fit for your business, we’ll invite you in for a chat and go from there. Learn more about how it works at Octopus.

What type of companies do you typically invest in?

We provide venture capital investment for the people, ideas and industries that are changing the world for the better. Our portfolio companies sit across seven key sectors: B2B Software, Bio, Climate, Consumer, Deep Tech, Fintech and Health.

What type of founders are you looking for?

We’re looking for founders with purpose, who are building revolutionary solutions that will change the world. We want to talk to people who are great storytellers with a clear vision, focused on solving society’s biggest problems, not just building products. Although we’re not a diversity fund, we value diversity in founding teams.

If the above sounds like you, get in touch.

You can also learn more about our portfolio founders.

What is your investment focus?

We invest across seven main areas: B2B Software, Bio, Climate, Consumer, Deep Tech, Fintech and Health.

B2B Software
We back B2B software companies who are helping to transform industries through digitisation and automation.

Backing trailblazing founders creating a bioscience led revolution. We’re looking for exceptional founders who are creating biology inspired solutions in sectors including:

  • advanced therapeutic
  • diagnostic and biomanufacturing platforms
  • AI/ML enabled drug discovery
  • life science tools
  • Industrial biotech

We look for companies that are working to create a circular economy, decarbonising global energy systems and infrastructure, reducing energy consumption, greening finance, protecting and developing ecosystems, and erasing historical footprint through carbon removal technologies.

We back the innovators transforming the everyday in how we live, work, travel, play, rest and recuperate.
We’re tackling:

  • How we live: housing, co-living, mortgages, smart homes, construction reform, consumer robotics –
  • How we spend our free time: gaming, esports, fitness, sex tech, pets
  • The way we work: collaboration, HR 3.0, office leasing, employee wellness, passion economy, consumer automation
  • The way we get around: car ownership, electric car subscription, micro-mobility, travel
  • Our own wellbeing: beauty, wellness, fitness, nutrition, healthy ageing, early life tech
  • How and what we buy: P2P marketplaces, conscious consumption, the changing high street

Deep Tech
We focus on the tools and technologies that will power the next industrial revolution.

  • Quantum computing
  • Robotics and drones
  • Sensory human augmentation (touch, smell, taste, see, brain, sound and voice)
  • 3D printing

We invest in Fintech startups and pioneers who are working to improve society’s ability to exchange and allocate financial resources and risk.

  • Blockchain
  • Credit and lending
  • Insurtech
  • Payments

We invest in health care, backing health tech startups who are transforming the industry from digital therapeutics through to biotechnology.

We’re tackling:

  • Taboo issues ready to enter the mainstream, including in mental and sexual health
  • The world’s biggest human challenges: AMR (antimicrobial resistance), feeding an ever-increasing population, fertility and longevity
  • Making healthcare more personal and accessible
  • Frontier opportunities in biosciences

What is your investment process?

There are some differences in our investment process, depending on which stage you’re at. The below gives you a general idea of the steps we follow.

Pre-seed investment:

Step 1: Send us your deck – if we think we’re a fit for your business, we’ll set up a call. This first chat (approx. 30 minutes) will include a general intro to your team, the problem you’re tackling and the solution you’re proposing.

Step 2: Second meeting (approx. 45 minutes), including detailed GTM (go to market) information, deep dive, live product demo and a meeting with other co-founders.

Step 3: We’ll carry out our co-investor and pilot partner/customer due diligence.

Step 4: If we’re investing, we’ll finalise terms and present our offer. We’ll review and sign the legal documents, then wire funds (arriving in your bank account 10 working days afterwards, at the latest).

Step 5: Welcome to Octopus Ventures! You’ll have an onboarding session (approx. 30–45 minutes) to start you off on your journey with us.

Seed, Series A and beyond:

Step 1: Send us your deck – if we think we’re a fit for your business, we’ll set up an intro call with a member of our team to get to know you and your business better.

Step 2: Meet some more of our investors at a discovery meeting.

Step 3: We’ll visit you at your office and spend some time with your team.

Step 4: Present to our wider team at a partnership meeting. (Note that this meeting isn’t always necessary at the later investment stages.)

Step 5: If all goes well, we’ll present you with a termsheet to invest in your business. If we’re not investing, we’ll say why.

Step 6: Welcome to Octopus Ventures! You’ll have an onboarding session (approx. 30–45 minutes) to start you off on your journey with us.

For more details about our investment process, see our How it works page.

What does a good pitch look like?

For us, your pitch deck is a snapshot of your business. The first things we want to understand are the problem you’re tackling, the solution you’re proposing and why your team is the right one to provide it. We also like to know who we might be working with and investing in, so give us a brief introduction to your team.

Get more tips on polishing your pitch and really getting our attention with our pitch deck tips video.

What stages of investment do you offer?

We invest at several stages.

Our pre-seed team invests at the earliest possible stage of a business, occasionally even before a product or service has been developed. The standard investment amount at this stage is £100k. If you’ve got a great business idea that solves an important problem, don’t sit on it – send us your deck.

We also offer seed funding, Series A and beyond (typically starting at £1 million) – pitch us here.

If you’re not sure which stage of investment you should apply for, contact us.

What financial information do you need to see from a business to consider backing them?

Numbers do matter, and what we’ll ask to see differs depending on the size of your business. But what we’re really about is investing in the person and the idea.

Feel free to send us your pitch even if you’re not sure of all the numbers yet. See our pitch deck tips video for more information on what we’d like to see, from details about your team to the beginnings of a business plan.

That said, having a simple financial model to show can help us get a better feel for what you’d like to achieve. For Series A funding or later, see our financial modelling video for some tips on what to include in your model.

What’s your relationship to Octopus Group?

Octopus Ventures is the venture investment arm of Octopus Investments, part of the wider Octopus Group. We’re one of the largest and most active venture capital investors in Europe. Our mission is simple – to invest in the people, ideas and industries that will change the world.

Do you have a geographical focus?

We have a Pan-European focus and have offices in the UK and the US. But we’re always open to a chat, because we believe great companies can be built from anywhere in the world.

How quickly do you make your investment decision after you’ve spoken to a founder?

The pre-seed process is typically quicker. If we like your pitch, we’ll get in touch to talk over your business idea. From that point, we will usually make our decision within two weeks.

For investments beyond the pre-seed stage, if we like your idea you should hear back from us within 21 days of submitting your pitch through the online form, when we’ll set up an initial chat. After that, we typically aim to make our final decision within four weeks.

Do you lead deals?

Yes, we are keen to lead deals for seed, Series A and beyond. For pre-seed investments, we typically don’t lead deals or take board seats.

What is a follow-on investment?

If someone has invested in a company, then provides additional funding to the same company, that is called a follow-on investment.

Do you follow-on on your investments?

For pre-seed startups, we invest single tickets and won’t necessarily follow on. It’s possible that another fund within the Octopus family is a fit for you and can choose to invest. It will be a completely different team and investment committee.

For seed, Series A and later, we do provide follow-on funding.

Are you actively investing?

Yes, we’re actively investing and keen to meet more founders like you.

Contact us here and send us your pitch:

Apart from venture capital investment, what other support do you offer for founders like me?

We have a skilled and dedicated Portfolio People + Talent team who can help you with recruitment and retention, and establishing leadership and culture in your business. Learn more about our People + Talent team.

When you’re backed by Octopus Ventures, you also get access to a network of over 180 founders who can get behind your idea and help your business to grow.

How do I apply for funding?

Fill in our form and send us your pitch!

Apply for seed funding, Series A, Series B and beyond

If we think we’re a good fit for your business, we’ll schedule a chat and go from there. Learn more about how it works at Octopus.

For more help with your application, contact us.