Octopus Investments, part of Octopus Group and the largest provider of Venture Capital Trusts (VCTs) in the UK, today announced that it has opened a new £30 million fundraise for Octopus Future Generations VCT.
The VCT is backing businesses that aim to address society’s biggest challenges, providing an opportunity for investors to share in the potential growth of ambitious, purpose driven companies.
Launched as a new product last year, the Future Generations is part of Octopus’ growing sustainability offering, the Future Generations VCT is focused on early-stage companies aligned to three core investment themes:
- Building a more sustainable planet: tackling the climate emergency by investing in and supporting companies at the forefront of reducing carbon emissions, protecting ecosystems, or creating a circular economy that removes waste.
- Empowering people: investing in businesses using technology to further society, such as those improving access to digital learning, making financial advice widely available, or providing cybersecurity and privacy solutions.
- Revitalising healthcare: improving the health and wellbeing of people around the world by investing in modern healthcare industries, such as those helping people conquer addictions, or creating software that will make healthcare services more efficient.
Octopus believes that these companies will drive positive outcomes for the planet and society and as such, have the potential to deliver some of the best returns to investors over the coming decades.
The VCT is led by an all-female Board, including Helen Sinclair, Joanna Santinon and Emma Davies, and is managed by Simon King, Partner in Octopus Ventures, with over 10 years of experience. Octopus Ventures is one of Europe’s largest venture capital teams2 and is the same investment team behind the UK’s largest VCT with £1.2 billion under management3, Octopus Titan VCT. Octopus Ventures has built a reputation for backing innovative businesses which have gone on to become well-known names, including ManyPets, Depop, and Zoopla.
The team’s rigorous investment process and specialist expertise in the sectors they invest in has been crucial to their success. Investments in the Octopus Future Generations VCT follow the same process, offering investors the opportunity to access a portfolio of companies with innovative technology, talented management teams and within sectors that are prime for disruption.
Notable portfolio companies include:
- Cobee: a fully digital solution that simplifies employee benefits management. Given that one third4 of companies have increased their wellbeing spend since the start of the pandemic, Cobee stands to play a fundamental role in providing employees with access to a range of benefits like health insurance, childcare, mental health, food, transport and much more.
- Oto Health: a mobile app that helps the 15% of adults5 suffering from tinnitus to gain control over their symptoms. It provides instant access to a toolbox of techniques such as cognitive behavioural therapy, mindfulness, physical exercises, and relaxation practices
- Neat: an embedded insurance platform that gives merchants the ability to provide insurance bundles to their customers at a competitive rate. It ensures the products it protects are repaired and reconditioned and not thrown away or automatically replaced, extending lifespan of those products and reducing their environmental and social impact.
Simon King, Fund Manager of Octopus Future Generations VCT, said:“As we begin 2023, it’s clear that society faces very real issues, from the tremendous impact of climate change as seen with Europe having its hottest year on record in 2022, to the NHS being under even more pressure than it was during the pandemic. Businesses have a critical role to play in solving these problems and increasingly we are seeing that it’s the nimble and innovative start-ups that are coming to the fore in creating solutions. It is these companies that the Future Generations VCT is specifically seeking out.
“To add to that, we are now in a recessionary environment where historically, decade-defining companies have been born, including some of our most successful investments. So, for investors, they have a timely opportunity to gain access to these potential opportunities that can transform outdated industries for the better.”
Jess Franks, Head of Retail Investment Products, Octopus Investments said:“In the current fundraising environment, companies with high growth potential are struggling to raise capital. However, VCTs continue to show their significance in how they allow investors to provide this support to smaller UK companies. Similarly, VCTs allow long-term minded investors to access private markets opportunities to diversify their portfolio as difficult public market conditions persist.
“As for the Future Generations VCT, it also provides investors with a high-risk appetite with a way to invest thematically for their future in a tax efficient way. The three key sustainability areas that this VCT invests across, align with those that we are focused on throughout Octopus Investments, but also align with the increasing number of investors who are looking to be part of the solution to the planet’s challenges.”
Alex Davies, CEO and Founder, Wealth Club said: “A successful business by its nature will solve a problem. Arguably some of the biggest problems we face today are around climate change and providing people with access to better education and healthcare. Early-stage companies – such as the ones invested in by Octopus – that can provide innovative solutions to address these issues have the potential to offer investors attractive returns.”
The share offer is open until 18th January 2024 but may close earlier if fully subscribed. The minimum investment is £3,000 while the maximum investment qualifying for tax relief is £200,000.