Early-stage VC firm Ada Ventures has launched a £36m fund for early-stage founders focusing on climate, healthcare and economic empowerment.
Backers of Ada Venture Fund II include a cornerstone commitment from the British Business Bank from its Enterprise Capital Funds programme, Plexo Capital, University of Edinburgh and various angel investors.
The Fund I portfolio raised £100m in additional investment, from firms including GV and Index Ventures and mostly invested in female founders (55 per cent of the fund) with a significant percentage of ethnic minority founders (30 per cent).
Check Warner, founding partner at Ada Ventures, said: “Investors have seen how we source deals and how we find breakthrough companies making a positive societal impact. They can see our approach works.
“Not only have we opened opportunities for extraordinary founders, but we have also shown that a more diverse deal flow leads to exceptional returns.
“For all the innovation in the industry, there is nowhere near enough innovation in VC. We are delighted to launch Fund II, as it demonstrates that our unique and original deal-sourcing system works.
Ada Ventures also runs Ada’s Angels, which is a project looking to bring more diverse people into angel investing. Since launch in 2020, the cohort has made 22 angel investments, six of which then raised funding from Ada Ventures. All six of these companies are founded by entrepreneurs from underrepresented backgrounds in tech and VC.
Warner added: “When we were building Fund I, we knew we needed to depart from the traditional way of sourcing deals. So, we tore up the rulebook, and deployed scout and angels programmes, which revolutionised our own deal sourcing, and led to us meeting founders we would not have seen.
“We are constantly working to improve our deal-sourcing programmes and methodology, but we are proud to say that it is fairer, it works towards creating fairer access to VC funding, and it leads to phenomenal returns. It works, and it’s great to see the LP community recognising that.”