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Episode 1 raises £60m to invest in early-stage tech startups

Episode 1, an investor in Carwow, Triptease and AimBrain, has raised £60m to invest in early-stage technology startups.

The British Business Bank’s Enterprise Capital Funds programme backed the fund.

Episode 1 will seek to invest between £500,000 and £2m “into teams with real insight into markets that are emerging or evolving”.

Paul McNabb, co-managing partner of Episode 1, said: “There is no shortage of funds for the best entrepreneurs, but in our experience much of it is undifferentiated – there are few investors with the commitment to roll up their sleeves and get on with the heavy lifting that turns innovation into operations”

“We realise that for companies at this stage, the next handful of decisions they make are potentially transformational – and we plan to be there to help.”

The new fund is 60% bigger than Episode 1’s first ECF and will specifically target emerging deep technologies such as AI.

Episode 1 founding partner Simon Murdoch added: “There is an enormous amount of experience at Episode 1. Whether that’s leadership positions at Amazon, Cisco or Elektra – or indeed starting and exiting their own companies – there are few funds at our stage that can offer this range and depth of experience. If I were to be a founder again, this experience is what I would be looking for.”

Ken Cooper, managing director of venture solutions at the British Business Bank, concluded: “We’re very happy to be investing once again in Episode 1, providing £36m of investment to their new fund. This is our 26th such commitment under our ECF programme, which now has a total investment capacity approaching £1.1bn.

“It is encouraging that the team was able to launch a significantly bigger fund with a bolder ambition, showing there is a quality of opportunity out there in the UK market for such investment,” he added.

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