An investor in Zoopla and Shazam is teaming up with crowdfunding platform Crowdcube on a £100 million fund.
Episode 1 wants to invest in “the next generation” of digital infrastructure and deep tech start–ups based in the UK.
Selected businesses will have their pitches reviewed by Episode 1 ahead of a funding round on Crowdcube.
The businesses will have to seek £250,000-£3m to qualify for the fund.
“B2C businesses are easy to understand, so they tend to get more coverage than B2B businesses, particularly those which are more specialist,” said Simon Murdoch, managing partner of Episode 1.
“What we’ve found is that a large number of IPOs in the US are B2B. In 2018-2019 there were six times as many IPOs for B2B than there were for B2C businesses.
“Sectors that are lacking in competition, like software infrastructure and deep tech, are good areas for investors to look into.”
Crowdcube wrote in a blog post that, following the outbreak of COVID-19, the role of technology took centre stage as businesses sought solutions for better supply chains, tools for remote working and cloud-based virtual care, while digital infrastructure was challenged and the importance of enabling innovation highlighted.
It said there is a growing appetite for investment in this space with high-growth SaaS companies raising around £7 billion in finance since 2011.
Examples of companies in the sector which have previously raised finance on Crowdcube include Bidstack, Intelligence Fusion and Fidel UK.
Matt Cooper, chief commercial officer at Crowdcube, said: “Crowdcube is delighted to be partnering with Episode 1 on our hunt for the startups building software infrastructure that’s enabling change.
“Developments in API-driven technology, open-source tech and analytics software are now more important than ever.
“We recognise this potential and want to give everyday investors the opportunity to be a part of their future success.”