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Leadership / Digital Transformation

Forward Partners looks to raise £60m to back UK startups

An ex-salesperson at search engine giant Google and a veteran venture capitalist are looking to raise funds worth £60m to back startups in the UK.

Martyn Holman, a former employee of Google and Nic Brisbourne, who has over 15 years of experience in investing in tech companies, are planning to begin raising the fund at the start of the next year.

The duo said they intend to complete the fund raising programme by the end of 2017.

They plan to raise the fund from limited partners (LPs) mainly in the UK and Silicon Valley. It will be used to support 48 startups over the next five years.

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To date, Forward Partners, which was launched in 2014, has raised £21m to back technology firms in the UK.

The firm’s initial investment in a startup normally ranges from £250,000 to £750,000.

The venture capital firm is looking to provide funding for pre-seed companies which are in initial stages of operations.

Holman said in a company’s blog: “Forward Partners has fully embraced this model of investment. It supports its portfolio businesses on The Path Forward, a programme to take transaction focused digital startups from raw idea to valuable businesses in the space of 12 months.”

Forward Partners was “spun out” of the Forward Internet Group, which creates, acquires, and invests in tech companies.

forward-partnersBesides offering funding to startups, the VC firm facilitates them with space and a team consisting of engineers, designers, PR, HR, and marketing people, the publication reported.

Holman said: “That’s all the kind of support an early stage company is looking to have immediately in the business.

”They often can’t afford the type of quality that we provide.”

The support team enables Forward Partners to back companies that are often at the “idea stage,” Holman said.

The ex-Googler added that other investors might face concerns about the founders’ access to the required resources.

The startups backed by Forward Partners include the likes of children’s book company Lost My Name and fintech startup Zopa.

Forward Partners claims that the combined valuation of its portfolio companies is more than £1bn.
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CBR Staff Writer

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