Emerging healthtech: Octopus Ventures to launch £100M fund for early-stage startups in UK

Octopus Ventures

Octopus Ventures, one of the largest and most active VCs in Europe, is looking to launch a new £100 million institutional global fund to take advantage of the health tech market opportunity, in particular the opportunity to transform public healthcare systems across Europe and the emerging markets.

With this Joe Stringer, Dr Pooja Sikka and Shamik Parekh from TenX Health have joined Octopus Ventures bringing their diverse experience in the digital healthcare space. Joe and Pooja were former founding members of EY Ventures, which leads the health and social care portfolio.

The news follows swiftly on the heels of Emma Davies joining Octopus Ventures as Co-CEO this month, bringing over 20 years of institutional fund management expertise, and Octopus’ announcement in October that it had scaled its portfolio team by 45% with nine new hires, as well as launching a new specialist consumer team.

Funds for early-stage healthtech startups

Octopus Ventures aims to use the new funds to pump into early-stage health tech businesses. The VC aims to accelerate healthcare technology into global health systems and directly to consumers that need better access to healthcare. The fund also will be used to invest in Series A funding rounds and will make Octopus Group, the cornerstone investor.

Alliott Cole, Co-CEO of Octopus Ventures, said: “Covid-19 has doubled the pace of growth in healthcare technology. Joe, Pooja and Shamik’s arrival and the launch of the fund puts us in an even stronger position to take advantage of the investment opportunities that are emerging from the pandemic as the digital healthcare revolution continues.”

Joe Stringer said: “Octopus is one of the most active technology investors in early-stage companies in Europe and already has a strong track record in backing pioneering entrepreneurs that are changing the way healthcare is delivered. This breadth of experience, combined with the group’s outstanding fund management platform, makes it an exciting partner for us to accelerate our plans to support the revolution we are seeing in digital health through the new fund.”

Dr Pooja Sikka added: “Combined with the growth potential in technology and the positive social impact of the sector, digital health has swung sharply into the spotlight. There is a massive opportunity to back businesses that can really make a difference to the way healthcare is delivered to the benefit of patients across Europe and the emerging markets. We are looking forward to unlocking this potential with our new fund, building on Octopus’ reputation as one of Europe’s leading VCs and its mission to achieve impact at scale and pace.”

The recent announcements signal Octopus Ventures’ intention to dial up its investment activity, particularly in high impact sectors, despite the market uncertainty caused by Covid-19, as it continues to create opportunities for investors to back pioneering entrepreneurs and access the growth potential these businesses offer.