London’s Mayor And Six Tech Investors Launch $133M Fund For City’s Startups

A new venture capital fund for startups has been launched by the mayor of London, aiming to boost the city’s already burgeoning startup scene. The new London Co-Investment Fund will be supported by £25 million from the mayor’s office and up to £60 million from six private-sector partners, so £85 million or $133 million in total. Applications for funding will open on 4th December, but you can register now here.

The money is coming in via the London Enterprise Panel’s ‘Growing Places Fund.’ The six private partners will be Wellington Partners (a major European VC), Playfair Capital (a Micro-VC), three business Angel syndicates (London Business Angels, Angel Lab and Firestartr) and the Crowdcube/ Braveheart Consortium (a consortium between an equity crowd funding platform and a fund manager). Originally, 38 venture capital funds, business angel Syndicates and investment platforms applied to be partners.

LCIF predicts that it will invest in over 150 companies over the next three years, equating to roughly 2,600 new jobs in the U.K. capital.

The new fund specifically targets small businesses in the areas of science, technology and “digital” looking to raise between £250,000 and £1m. According to the Fund’s own research that is the largest gap in the market for investment.

For every £1 invested by the LCIF, the partners are obliged to directly invest (or secure from their investors) at least £1, and on average £2.9, in the selected businesses seed investment round.

The London Co-Investment Fund will be managed by Funding London. The initiative was originated by, and developed in partnership with, Capital Enterprise (the membership body for universities, accelerators and incubators that support entrepreneurs in London).

Capital Enterprise will promote the LCIF and manage the deal flow of businesses, which will be referred to the fund’s selected co-investment partners.

And they are setting the bar quite high. As well as having to demonstrate they will create new jobs they will have to demonstrate how they will get to a decent return for investors, ideally 10x.

They also plan to be pretty rapid. LCIF hopes to make its first investment in January 2015 and plans to co-invest alongside its partners at the rate of one investment per week for three years.

According to the mayor’s office, London’s tech sector has become the biggest cluster of expertise in Europe over the last three years. There are over 34,400 digital technology businesses and 155,600 digital technology employees in the capital and 32 accelerators and incubators.