Diversity focused Ada Ventures closes oversubscribed £63M fund

London-based Ada Ventures, an inclusive VC firm that supports breakthrough ideas, has announced the close of an oversubscribed £63 million fund designed to support a diverse cohort of early-stage founders.

The £63 million/$80 million fund is committed to supporting innovative ideas within the fund's three core themes: climate equity, healthy ageing, and economic empowerment. Ada Ventures will continue to make pre-seed and seed investments ranging from £250,000 to £1.5 million in diverse startups. It has also noted that a ‘significant amount’ is allocated for follow-on investments.

The fund, which is the second from the firm, has garnered support from a range of prestigious institutional investors. These include the British Business Bank, The University of Edinburgh, Big Society Capital, Legal & General Capital, Atomico, The Export and Investment Fund of Denmark (EIFO), and Molten Ventures. It has also been joined by a number of founder investors, including Taavet Hinrikus, co-founder of Wise, and Illusian Family Office, co-founded by Ilkka Paananen, co-founder and CEO of Supercell.

Francesca (Check) Warner, Co-Founding Partner of Ada Ventures commented on the close of the round: "We’re thrilled to announce the final close of our second fund. We’ve worked incredibly hard over the last five years to develop the systems and processes to turn our ambition to build a truly diverse and inclusive fund into reality. Strong returns are strongly correlated with inclusive investment. We want other funds to copy this blueprint. The excuse that diverse talent isn’t ‘out there’ is a cop out. We have proven that you can build a thriving, inspiring portfolio of diverse founders building breakthrough products and hugely valuable businesses."

Having already made 12 investments from its second fund, the Ada Ventures team intends to invest in between ten and 12 companies annually. These companies are developing innovative solutions in the areas of climate equity, economic empowerment, and healthy ageing. The investment team has already partnered with 11 new companies across the UK including, BlakBear, Materials Nexus, OPENFORMAT, Juno Bio, PlannerPal, Multiomic Health, Glowb, Boldr, Greenworkx, and Radiant Matter.

Ada Ventures is a VC fund which claims to be 14x more diverse in terms of ethnicity and gender than the UK’s average venture fund. Ada Ventures ranks at the top among other impact-driven funds, boasting a diversity rate 1.4 times higher than the average. Remarkably, 74% of its portfolio founders come from underrepresented backgrounds. In comparison to the broader VC market where only 18% of portfolio companies have a woman founder, 48% of Ada Ventures' portfolio companies are co-founded by women. Furthermore, 44% of these companies are led by ethnic minority founders, significantly above the overall average of 9%.

This diversity is due to its ‘Inclusive Alpha’ methodology, resting on the core belief that championing diversity across a portfolio doesn’t mean compromising on returns, but rather that this diversity will enhance it.

In pursuit of its objectives, Ada Ventures employs scouts to discover and engage startups. Its network of nearly 100 scouts throughout the UK encompasses 20 "Ada Angels," each who have access to the investment fund of up to £50,000. The firm plans to extend similar programmes to additional European countries in the coming months to expand its reach.