London-headquartered venture capital firm Octopus Ventures has hired five new investors to its deep tech investment team as it looks to build on the £45m invested this year into companies operating in spaces such as AI, quantum computing and robotics.
In 2021 Octopus Ventures has backed deep tech startups including quantum computing firm ORCA Computing, artificial intelligence dubbing service Papercup and AI music startup LifeScore.
The new hires signal that Octopus is doubling down on deep tech, which is one of the UK’s most promising areas of growth, with innovation often stemming from Britain’s leading universities.
The new deep tech recruits are:
- Richard Anson, former CEO of Reevoo and academic lead at Conception X
- Flavia Levi, who joins from Plug and Play’s venture team
- Owen Metters, previously the licensing and ventures Manager for Oxford University Innovation as well as a deep tech investor for Williams Advanced Engineering
- Maiuran Chandrakumaran, ex-VP for BlackRock and group portfolio manager for East African Holding
- Mat Munro, former chief product officer of Conversocial and director of product for InPost
Commenting on the new role, Anson said: “My focus is on finding people and teams from across UK and European universities who are working on science and technologies with the potential to breakout into the market at scale and impact the huge challenges facing humankind and our planet.”
In June, Octopus Ventures launched its £10m pre-seed fund, targeting early-stage startups in Europe.
Alliott Cole, co-CEO, Octopus Ventures said: “Deep tech is one of the UK and Europe’s biggest opportunities.
“We have some of the world’s leading universities making world changing breakthroughs, and a growing community of experienced deep tech founders who know how to commercialise those breakthroughs.”
Last year saw its portfolio company WaveOptics be acquired for $500m by Snap Inc. Other UK companies in the portfolio are Cazoo, Elvie and Vira.
Octopus Ventures is a part of the Octopus Group, which contains Octopus Energy.