If you’re looking to raise your next round in the UK as an early-stage AI startup, you are in luck: there are plenty of doors for you to knock.

From AI-first funds to sector-agnostic firms that welcome AI opportunities, we’ve compiled this curated list of AI investors you can include in your outreach list. These are some of the best early-stage VC firms in the UK, including the Pre-Seed, Seed, and Series A stages.

TIP:

Read the websites carefully before submitting your pitch deck or contacting the fund’s partners or investors. Every VC firm explicitly states its preferences, with some even mentioning the metrics your deck must include to be considered. Ensure you are aligned and meet the criteria—otherwise, it’s a waste of time.

1. PlayFair Capital

➡️ PlayFair is a sector-agnostic fund that actively invests in companies across the UK and Europe in various verticals, as long as there is a technology element. They have backed 105 companies, resulting in 7 exits and 3 unicorns, with 73% of their portfolio companies successfully raising Series A funding.

Funding stage: Pre-Seed

Value add besides money:

  • Hands-on, high involvement approach post-investment, as they typically lead or co-lead rounds and invest in only 6-8 companies in a year;
  • Access to a wide network of founders;
  • Advice on sales/GTM, hiring, financials & marketing;
  • Ring-fence funds to follow into subsequent rounds.

Average check size: £100K-£1.5M

Average number of investments per year: 6-8

Notable AI portfolio companies: Orca AI, Protex AI, sprout.AI

Contacts: Pitch Us page, LinkedIn

2. 7Percent

➡️ 7Percent supports transformative deep tech companies from the UK, the US, and Europe, starting as early as pre-revenue and undergoing aggressive growth. They’ve backed over 150 startups over the past 10 years.

Funding stage: Angel, Pre-Seed, Seed

Value add besides money:

  • Access to a highly curated adviser network, 7EVN; 
  • Guidance from the founding team with successful entrepreneurial experience;
  • Ability to network with over 200 portfolio companies.

Average check size: $250K-$2M (with angel checks $5K-$100K depending on the stage)

Average number of investments per year: 4

Notable AI portfolio companies: Gensyn, BreezeAI, PlumerAI

Contacts: Submission form, LinkedIn

A good early-stage growth rate is 5-7% a week. If you can hit 10% a week, you’re doing exceptionally well, but if you can only manage 1%, it’s a sign you haven’t yet figured out what you’re doing.
Paul Graham, Y Combinator

3. Crane Venture Partners

➡️ Crane is a London-based VC firm that backs deep tech and intelligent enterprise solutions across Europe. Their portfolio totals in 83 companies with 3 successful exits.

Funding stage: Pre-Seed, Seed

Value add besides money:

  • Mentorship and advice on how to raise the next round: 80% of their portfolio companies raised series A round;
  • A yearly half-day summit for early-stage founders focused on go-to-market ad marketing;
  • A platform where their portfolio founders can regularly gather to discuss and get advice on the challenges of running a startup centered around Open Source and Sales. 

Investment focus: Enterprise software, SaaS, machine learning, AI

Average check size: $1M-$5M

Average number of investments per year: 4

Notable AI portfolio companies: SeeChange, Deta, h2o.ai 

Contacts:  LinkedIn

4. Concept Ventures

➡️ Concept Ventures is the largest dedicated UK pre-seed fund that backs companies across different verticals. They’ve made initial investments in 100+ businesses with follow-on support beyond Series A. 

Funding stage: Pre-Seed

Value add besides money: Advice on how to build and scale your team 

Investment focus: Software, AI, gaming, IT, insurtech, edtech

Average check size: £750K

Average number of investments per year: 15

Notable AI portfolio companies: Cliff.ai, Browse AI

Contacts: Oliver Kicks (Partner), LinkedIn

5. Worth Capital

➡️ Worth Capital is a sector-agnostic equity investment company that has made 100+ early-stage investments in UK startups. While their focus lies outside AI and ML, they are open to investing if an opportunity arises. 

Funding stage: Pre-Seed

Investment focus: Food and beverage, e-commerce, software, AI

Average check size: up to £400K

Average number of investments per year: 5-10

Contacts: Apply for funding form, Managing partner, Founding partner

6. Twin Path

➡️ Twin Path is an AI-first deep tech fund looking for AI startups that can spearhead the upcoming AI transformation in various industries. Considered one of the top AI investors in the early-stage realm. 

Funding stage: Pre-Seed

Investment focus: Agriculture, healthcare, computing, climatetech, cybersecurity, and more.

Average check size: £210K-£700K 

Notable AI portfolio companies: Fifth Dimension AI, Treefera, FinCrime Dynamics 

Contacts: Founding partner, Co-founding partner

7. SFC Capital

➡️ SFC Capital is an award-winning fund that invests in early-stage startups from all over the UK, heavily emphasizing AI companies. The fund is very prolific, with over 500 investments and 20 exits.

Funding stage: Angel, Pre-Seed, Seed

Value add besides money: An exposure to SEIS- and EIS-qualifying businesses.

Investment focus: Consumer goods, B2B software, fintech, green, hardware&robotics, and more.

Average check size: £124K

Average number of investments per year: 25

Notable AI portfolio companies: Cognism, Magic AI, TrainThis.AI

Contacts: Linkedin

8. Britbots

➡️ Britbots is a British AI-first VC fund investing in early-stage UK-based AI, robotics, and automation businesses. Their portfolio to date totals 40 startups.

Funding stage: Pre-Seed, Seed, Series A

What they provide besides money: Guidance and a hands-on approach to their portfolio companies.

Investment focus: Ideas that support the elimination of pollution and address shortages of skilled labor, supply chain inefficiencies, and depletion of natural resources.

Notable AI portfolio companies: Zelim and Muddy Machines

Average check size: £1.5M

Average number of investments per year: 5

Contacts: LinkedIn

9. BGF Ventures

➡️​​ BGF Ventures is one of the UK and Ireland’s most active investors that has backed over 500 businesses. They are known for their minority investing and broad coverage of sectors within the UK.

Funding stage: Seed, Series A

Value add besides money:

  • Access a talent network of over 6,000 board-level non-executives in the UK and Ireland, designed to provide founders with ad hoc advice, commercial insight, and interim leadership;
  • Advice on strengthening boards, improving operations, succession planning, and exit strategies&processes;
  • No exit deadlines or drag rights.

Average check size: £1M-£20M

Average number of investments per year: 25

Notable AI portfolio companies: Machine Discovery, Aimbrain, Celaton

Contacts: LinkedIn

Check out their Stories of Growth, exploring the experiences of successful portfolio companies on their way to growth.
Check now!

10. Amadeus Capital Partners

➡️ Amadeus Capital is a global technology investor that has backed over 280 companies, focusing on technology companies, including AI. 

Funding stage: Seed, Series A

Value add besides money:  

  • Mentorship 
  • Access to accelerators and various industry associations and events

Investment focus: AI & machine learning, online consumer services, cyber security, healthtech, enterprise SaaS, fintech, and insurtech.

Average number of investments per year: 7

Notable AI portfolio companies: Contact engine, Altana, PolyAI

Contacts: Submission form, LinkedIn

11. Entrée Capital

➡️ Entrée Capital backs multy-stage tech startups across sectors, focusing on in the UK, US and Israel markets. They’ve made over 230 investments, led 89 of them, with 30 having successfully exited.

Funding stage: Pre-Seed, Seed, Series A

Investment focus: Software, fintech, e-commerce, generative AI, IT

Average number of investments per year: 10

Notable AI portfolio companies: Sensi.Ai, Decipad, Bria, Darrow, Jigso

Contacts: Team’s LinkedIn

12. Atomico

➡️ Atomico is a European thematic investor fund based in London that backed over 200 innovative tech companies worldwide, mostly concentrated in Europe, with 40 exits in total. 

Funding stage: Seed, Series A, Series B, Series C

Value add besides money: Guidance on how to scale effectively through their online platform designed for their portfolio founders.

Investment focus: Wide range of sectors, with an emphasis on underrepresented groups of founders, including women or ethnic minorities.

Average check size: $1M-$20M

Average number of investments per year: 17

Notable AI portfolio companies: DeepL, Corti

Contacts: LinkedIn

13. AI Seed

➡️ AI Seed is an AI-first fund that invested in over 40 early-stage startups in the UK and Europe. 

Funding stage: Seed

Value add besides money: 

  • Network with the world’s most successful AI entrepreneurs
  • Access to the pool of the best AI talent; 
  • Introductions to commercial partners and customers;
  • Subsidised work placement of AI PhDs in your startup.

Average check size: £1M

Notable AI portfolio companies: Odin Vision, Rahko, FaceSoft

Contacts: LinkedIn

14. Hoxton Ventures

➡️ Hoxton Ventures backs technology visionaries from Europe in different industries with a notable track record of AI portfolio companies. They can boast a portfolio of over 100 companies, with 4 unicorns and 78% portfolio companies raising subsequent rounds.

Funding stage: Pre-Seed, Seed, Series A

Value add besides money:

  • Advice on investor introductions, hiring, market intel, strategic partnerships, and operational processes;
  • M&A advisory and facilitation. 

Investment focus: Startups seeking to invent new market categories or fundamentally reshape the existing ones, focusing on minority investing.

Average check size: $250K-$5M

Average number of investments per year: 10

Notable AI portfolio companies: biotx.ai, BioCorteX, Darktrace

Contacts: LinkedIn

15. UCL technology fund

➡️ UCL technology fund supports founders in intellectual property commercialization opportunities, primarily in physical and life sciences, with capital and growth expertise. They backed 28 companies, made 34 proof-of-concept investments, and had 4 Nasdaq IPOs.

Funding stage: Pre-Seed, Seed, Series A, Series B

Investment focus: Biotechnology, healthcare, machine learning, AI

Average check size: £250K-£7M

Average number of investments per year: 5

Notable AI portfolio companies: Bloomsbury AI, Nozzle.AI

Contacts: Reach out page

16. Notion Capital

➡️ Notion Capital is a fund headquartered in London that backed over 200 European tech companies that have achieved product-market fit, predominantly in the SaaS and cloud sectors. 

Funding stage: Pre-seed, Seed, Series A+

Value add besides money: 

  • Access to a network of over 100 founders and experts for peer-to-peer learning; 
  • An annual two-day retreat with fellow founders and investors;
  • Practical advice for founders on how to hire and retain talent. 

Investment focus: Cloud, SaaS, enterprise tech, industry OS, Fintech, AI

Average check size: $5M

Average number of investments per year: 16

Notable AI portfolio companies: Five AI, Protex AI

Contacts: Pitching page, LinkedIn

17. Albion VC

➡️ Albion is a long-standing venture fund supporting UK-based B2B software, deep tech, and healthcare startups in the UK and Europe. Their portfolio totals 126 companies and 24 exits. 

Funding stage: Pre-Seed, Seed, Series A

Investment focus: Healthcare, software, pharma, renewable energy, biotech, and more

Average check size: $1M-$15M

Average number of investments per year: 7

Notable AI portfolio companies: Accelex, Anthropics, Seldon

Contacts: Pitch deck submission form, LinkedIn

18. Episode 1

➡️ Episode 1 invests in UK-based B2B technology startups at early stages. The fund has 105 companies in its portfolio, with 44 lead investments and 8 exits.

Funding stage: Seed, Series A

Value add besides money: 

  • Introduction to experts, investors, and potential acquirers;
  • Help with hiring, building a go-to-market strategy, and streamlining operations.

Investment focus: Cloud, SaaS, AI, machine learning

Average check size: £500K–£2M

Average number of investments per year: 10

Follow-on investment: up to $30M

Notable AI portfolio companies: kleene.ai, Auquan, PandasAI

Contacts: Submit deck, Founding partner, General partner, LinkedIn

19. IQ Capital

➡️ IQ Capital is a UK-based VC firm that Invests in European frontrunners in deeptech. The fund has backed 138 companies and has achieved 20 exits, with some big names including Apple, Google, Meta, Siemens, and Oracle.

Funding stage: Seed, Series A

Investment focus: Software, AI, machine learning

Average check size: £500K–£10M

Follow-on investment: up to £30M 

Average number of investments per year: 9

Notable AI portfolio companies: Mindgard, AI Build, Myrtle

Contacts: Submission form, LinkedIn

20. Local Globe

➡️ Local Globe is a London-based fund focusing on seed and impact investments in numerous sectors, including AI and machine learning, that can boast a prolific track record of 375 investments.

Funding stage: Angel, Pre-Seed, Seed, Series A, Series B

Average check size: £1M-£20M (with smaller angel checks)

Average number of investments per year: 23

Notable portfolio companies: Mistral AI

Contacts: LinkedIn

How to secure your next round in 2024

Looking to raise your next round ASAP? In 2022, our clients raised $350M. Here, you’ll find some of the tools and insights that made it possible for them.

This calculator will show whether your growth numbers hit the mark for investors, and if you need to fix anything before pitching.

A collection of articles with practical tips on how to create every slide in your deck for VCs to fall in love with it.

Related post: Top 20 VC Firms in San Francisco Bay Area & Silicon Valley.

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Anna

Content Writer

Hi there! I’m Anya, a Content Writer at Waveup. I’ve been working with startups in various industries for over 4 years, soaking up the knowledge and learning from their business strategies. Now, I collaborate with the best minds here at Waveup to pick up their expertise and share it with the readers.