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As the name may suggest, seed investing refers to the initial funding stage of a business venture which typically entails a small amount of money dedicated to the research and development of the company’s product. Operating similar to equity, seed investors will provide money to the early-stage company based on the valuation of the startup in exchange for a stake in the business. The city of Manchester is one of the top technology hubs for startup growth, boasting more startups than anywhere else in the North West, thus serving as an ideal location for early-stage companies. If your startup business is located in Manchester and you’re looking for a source of initial capital, here are some of the most active seed investors in Manchester to consider. 

  1. Entrepreneurs Fund 

Boasting a rich portfolio of various entrepreneurial teams, the Entrepreneurs Fund prides itself on supporting individuals and businesses who share values of fairness and transparency. As an existing venture capital member of COFRA Holding, one of the world’s largest groups of family-controlled businesses, this organisation knows exactly how to support the formation and growth of technology-driven global businesses during its seed stage and beyond. The Entrepreneurs Fund typically invests between €250k and €10m in seed-stage businesses. The fund invests from around €250k to more than €10m in individual companies. The typical initial investment is €1 to 2m and the fund normally aims to invest at least €5m over the life of a company. 

2. Deepbridge Venture Capital 

Deepridge Venture Capital is another seed investor in manchester committed to investing in growth-focused companies by fostering a community of passionate, fair-minded, and practical professionals. Alongside a team of mentors, their ambition to achieve the highest levels of corporate governance allows them to provide the best outcome for investors. Deepbridge invests anywhere from less than £150k up to £10m and, additionally, does not invest exclusively in companies that are EIS and/or SEIS-qualifying. While the fund is determined to invest across a wide range of market sectors, most of its professional experience lies in renewable energy and technology sectors.

3. Ignite 

For more than a decade, Ignite has been helping launch and scale small businesses through the assistance of experienced entrepreneurs and active investors. Their tried and true programme has been run all across Europe and offers the opportunity to collaborate and receive mentoring from industry experts. This fund’s experienced team is comprised of founders of startups who have raised investment globally and successfully exited companies; thus providing a unique opportunity for startup founders to gain valuable and bespoke advice from the industry’s own trailblazers. Ignite typically invests £17k in participants of their accelerator programme which includes workspace for up to six months, access to the fund’s incubator space, and growth support. The fund takes an 8% stake in exchange for investment, or 4% of businesses have already received funding.

4. Crowdcube 

Crowdcube encourages investors of all stages to diversify their portfolio beyond property and pension by investing in startup, growth, and venture-backed businesses with the potential to deliver significant returns. Catering to new and experienced investors, Crowdcube provides a simple, secure, regulated method of investing through their in-house team of legal professionals. Crowdcube typically works with companies raising between £250k and £1m, with a minimum of £20k. There is no maximum target amount, however, the optimum range is between £100,000 and £150,000.

5. Foresight Group 

Underpinned by a strong commitment to ESG initiatives, the Foresight Group strives to implement its investment strategies in a way that will work towards creating a sustainable legacy for future generations. This group aims to support small businesses across the UK with attractive investment opportunities and growth capital, all the while offering advantageous tax-efficient opportunities to private investors. The Foresight Group typically invests between £1m and £3m in companies with a strong sustainability focus. There is also a Foresight Solar & Technology VCT. Companies should have between £0.5m and £2m EBITDA at the time of investment.

6. LMarks 

With over 70 innovation programmes launched across the UK, Europe, Israel, Asia, and the US, LMarks has developed and implemented a ‘learn-by-doing infrastructure securing their consistent growth and a reputation for having the UK’s largest network of corporate innovation labs. By leveraging the ideas of seed-stage businesses, LMarks and their invested companies have risen as competitors in all sectors. Their fund provides growth capital and works closely with businesses to create a tailored mentoring programme to track progress and chart growth.

7. Catapult Ventures 

The team behind Catapult Ventures holds more than 10 years of professional experience across a plethora of industries from healthcare and pharmaceuticals to luxury consumer brands. Catapult Ventures is an independent Fund Manager. Committed to supporting ambitious entrepreneurs and value creation through long-term relationships with seed-stage companies, the owners of Catapult Ventures each operate a number of discrete venture capital funds on behalf of a range of public and private sector investors, with a total of £130m under management.

8. Draper Esprit 

Draper Esprit plays an active role in assisting seed-stage businesses with investment opportunities worldwide through their bespoke mentorship programme and commitment to investing in the best European technology companies. While highly selective, making 10 to 20 new investments every year, this organisation pushes for rapid scale-up and helps establish a strategic position for each of its companies. Draper Esprit typically invests between $2m and $50m in Series A and Series B rounds. Notable investments include Push Doctor and POD Point.

Finding initial investment as a seed-stage company can often be intimidating and overwhelming, but there are investors and venture capital companies available to assist you in scale-ups and the overall development of your company as it matures. Get in touch with our team of experts to find out more about how your company can receive early investment opportunities. 

These are the 8 most popular seed investors in Manchester.


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