Active UK corporate venture capital firms

Google, BP and Unilever all have their own CVC divisions backing UK-based companies. Here are those active in the UK and what they look for

Corporate venture capital is venture capital supplied by large corporates to high-growth start-ups. The likes of Google, BP and Unilever all have their own CVC divisions backing UK-based companies within their industries.

Unlike standard venture capital firms, CVCs work a lot closer with their portfolio companies in developing a particular technology that is beneficial to both parties.

Here, we list active CVCs in the UK, what they look for and how much they invest.

InMotion Ventures

Founded: 2016

Sector focus: Electrification, Metaverse, connectivity, digital services, talent, Industry 4.0

Ticket size: £250,000 – £2m

Current investments: 17

Exits: 7

Bio: InMotion Ventures invests at seed to Series B stage in start-ups that align with its strategies across electrification, connectivity and sustainability.

BP Ventures

Founded: 2006

Sector focus: Digital transformation, low carbon products, advanced mobility, carbon management, power and storage, intelligent commodities

Ticket size: N/A

Current investments: 30

Exits: 9

Bio: BP Ventures invests in businesses that align with its core business, including in those helping BP reduce carbon emissions.

Unilever Ventures

Founded: 2002

Sector focus: Beauty and wellness, commerce and enabling technologies, B2B/Enterprise technologies

Ticket size: $500,000 to $15m

Current investments: 60

Exits: 63

Bio: Unilever is one of the world’s largest consumer goods companies and its venture arm invests in up-and-coming consumer brands and technologies – from seed stage through to Series D.

Legal & General Capital  

Founded: 2013

Sector focus: Clean energy, commercial real estate, investing, SME finance, housing, data centres

Ticket size: N/A

Current investments: N/A

Exits: 2

Bio: Legal & General’s investment arm invests across a broad range of sectors, from real estate to energy and finance, aiming to ‘improve social and physical environments’.


Founded: 1975

Sector focus: Steel

Ticket size: N/A

Current investments: N/A

Exits: N/A

Bio: The most active CVC in the UK, according to Beauhurst, UKSE backs companies related to steel – helping with investment, loans and premises.

Breed Reply

Founded: 2014

Sector focus: Deep tech, AI, Internet of Things

Ticket size: $1m – $5m

Current investments: 12

Exits: 8

Bio: Breed Reply invests in deep tech companies across Europe, with a particular focus on AI. It invests across seed to Series A stages.

Indie Growth Fund

Founded: 2014

Sector focus: Creative

Ticket size: N/A

Current investments: 18

Exits: N/A

Bio: As Channel 4’s VC arm, Indie Growth Fund invests in start-ups and independent companies within the creative sector and offers support, guidance and strategic advice.


Founded: 2009

Sector focus: Consumer, enterprise, frontier tech and life sciences

Ticket size: N/A

AUM: $8bn

Current investments: 400

Exits: 65

Bio: The venture capital arm of Google invests in tech companies across industry. Formally known as Google Ventures, GV has invested in the likes of Nest, Uber and Slack through to exit.

Martlet Capital

Founded: 2011

Sector focus: B2B deep tech, life sciences

Ticket size: Up to £250,000 in first round

Current investments: 41

Exits: 7

Bio: With a primary focus on start-ups in the Cambridge area, Martlet Capital focuses on start-ups in AI, machine learning, digital health, quantum technologies and advanced medicine.

Channel 4 Ventures

Founded: 2015

Sector focus: Consumer

Ticket size: £1m – £5m of media airtime

Current investments: 22

Exits: 4

Bio: Channel 4 Ventures offers high growth companies the opportunity to leverage its advertising slots in exchange for equity. It is interested in companies at pre-Series A through to pre-IPO stage.

ITV AdVentures

Founded: 2020

Sector focus: Digital, consumer

Ticket size: Up to £5m in advertising

Current investments: 9

Exits: N/A

Bio: ITV AdVentures offers TV advertising to high-growth digital-first companies at all stages of development. It looks to partner with start-ups which are best suited to media exposure, such as mass-market consumer brands.

Mouro Capital (formerly Santander InnoVentures)

Founded: 2014

Sector focus: Fintech

Ticket size: Up to $15m

AUM: $400m

Current investments: 38

Exits: 10

Bio: Part of Santander bank, Mouro Capital seeks out innovations in the financial sector across all lifecycle stages.

Sky Startup Investments & Partnerships

Founded: 1995

Sector focus: Media and information tech

Ticket size: N/A

Current investments: 9

Exits: 11

Bio: Sky’s CVC arm invests in start-ups across Europe, Israel and North America, offering up to £5m of advertising space in return for equity.

Distill Ventures

Founded: 2013

Sector focus: Beverages 

Ticket size: £250,000 – £10m

AUM: ~ £210m

Current investments: 6

Acquired: 4

Bio: The first accelerator of drinks brands, Distill Ventures invests in alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks brands with Diageo – owner of drinks brands such as Guinness and Johnnie Walker – its sole investor.

Shell Ventures

Founded: 1996

Sector focus: Power, mobility, emission management, digital, resources

Ticket size: $2m – $5m initial investment

Current investments: 90

Exits: 15

Bio: Established in 1996, Shell Ventures was one of the first CVCs in the energy industry. At a time of great change, the firm looks to invest in the companies that can help accelerate the shift to net-zero.

National Grid Partners

Founded: 2018

Sector focus: Energy

Ticket size: N/A

Current investments: N/A

Exits: 6

Bio: National Grid Partners invests in companies which makes the power grid “safer, cleaner and smarter,” investing across all funding stages.

Centrica Innovations

Founded: 2017

Sector focus: Energy

Ticket size: N/A

Current investments: N/A

Exits: N/A

Bio: Centrica’s CVC arm seeks start-ups in the energy sector that will complement and support Centrica’s existing businesses across energy and digital technology.

RWE Energy Transition Investments  

Founded: 2011

Sector focus: Energy transition

Ticket size: N/A

Current investments: N/A

Exits: N/A

Bio: RWE Energy Transition Investments backs companies helping the transition to carbon neutrality in the energy sector by 2040.

SC Ventures

Founded: 2018

Sector focus: Fintech

Ticket size: $1m – $10m

Current investments: 22

Exits: N/A

Bio: SC Ventures by Standard Chartered invests in disruptive fintech across Series B to pre-IPO stages which can be integrated into the company’s product and service offerings.

More on corporate venture capital

Founders talk about their experience with corporate venture capitalThree founders who have taken on corporate venture capital explain what made them partner with an enterprise business as opposed to going down the conventional VC route

Dom Walbanke

Dom Walbanke

Dom is a feature writer for Growth Business and Small Business, focused on matters concerning start-ups and scale-ups. He has also been published in the Independent, FourFourTwo magazine and various lifestyle...

Related Topics

Female founders