London-based venture capital firm Zinc has closed £28m for its latest fund, which will invest in 500 entrepreneurs to build new startups focusing on solving societal problems.
The Zinc Fund 2 will then invest in the top 100 startups created via the programme, which will start in October and will focus on B2B solutions that focus on areas such as the environment and improving later quality of life.
Zinc will choose up to 70 people to join a cohort where they will receive 12 months of support and capital. The most recent cohort all shared the same desire to improve the mental health of children and young people. Zinc is aiming for a final close of £35m for the new fund.
“Rather than waiting for good companies to appear, Zinc helps individuals (before they have a business idea or a team) to build from scratch a new commercially-ambitious company to solve the social challenge that they are most passionate about,” said Ella Goldner, co-founder, Zinc.
On the programme, cohorts will have the chance to find a co-founder, receive expert support, build a product and have the opportunity to secure investment.
Zinc was founded in 2017 by Ella Goldner, Paul Kirby and Saul Klein. It has helped over 200 entrepreneurs to create more than 60 startups.
The Zinc 2 Fund received a cornerstone investment from the British Business Bank’s Enterprise Capital Funds programme.
“Our missions are a call to arms: ‘Who wants to quit their jobs and spend the next decade or more solving this problem?’ Each mission unites people who care deeply about the same unsolved problem, cutting across the traditional silos (by industry, profession and private/public/charity) which get in the way of innovation,” said Paul Kirby, co-founder, Zinc.
The venture capital firm’s previous backings include menopause app creator Vira Health, which earlier this year raised £9m to add new features to its app.