True has completed a first close of its second seed fund at £7m, exceeding its target. The fund is backed by a variety of True’s strategic stakeholders, including influential family offices and prominent business leaders from the retail and consumer sector.
The fund will initially invest up to £500,000 in startups with fit-for-the future business models with further follow-on funds reserved to help the startups scale. The fund will invest across the retail and consumer sector and target transformative technologies, products and brands that have the potential to change the industry. True will be able to draw on its sector specialist network and growing roster of global partners to add substantial value to its portfolio companies.
True’s previous pre-seed fund, which invested up to £100,000 in earlier stage businesses, backed 36 companies, which have collectively raised more than £23m since True’s initial investment. The existing portfolio includes rapidly scaling startups operating in the sector, such as personalised video marketing tool Spirable, mental-wellbeing platform, Unmind, and office food delivery platform, City Pantry.
The new fund, which will invest in both UK and internationally-based companies, complements True’s existing £200m of growth and buyout funds and ensures that True will continue to be a focal point for innovation in the retail and consumer industry.
The fund is capped at £10m and the final close will take place at the end of October.
Paul Cocker, True’s Co-founder comments: “Through our Live Network we see over 2,000 businesses each year. Having access to a significantly larger seed fund ensures we will be able to invest more in the businesses and technologies that are capitalising on the on-going shift in consumer behaviour that is at the core of our investment strategy across our growth and private equity funds. In addition to closing the fund, this year we have added five partners bringing the total to 13, of which four are now international. Combined with the investments we have made from our private equity fund, the strength of our global network continues to grow, allowing us to continually enhance the value we provide to entrepreneurs with the ambition to rapidly scale their businesses.”
Earlier this year, True launched the True Innovators’ Club, which for successful applicants offers free access to True’s Hub in Victoria, the extensive benefits of True’s Live Network – and now an option of potential investment from the latest fund.
Members of the Innovators’ Club and a number of the portfolio businesses from the first fund will be joining True on its US Retail & Consumer Tech Trade Mission, starting Monday 17th September in Chicago before heading to New York on 19th September, to meet with decision makers at 20 of the world’s leading retail and consumer corporates.