The best EIS investment funds available in the UK
basics behind the Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS)
In this blog post, we outline some of the best EIS (Enterprise Investment Scheme) funds available for startups in the UK.
We have previously outlined the basics behind the Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) and how established small businesses can benefit from it. Now, we want to showcase the top EIS funds currently available in the UK, mainly aimed at early-age startups. The following VC (venture capital) firms invest across sectors in early-stage, medium-sized and high-risk businesses and are offering to help many companies needing additional finances.
What is an EIS fund?
You may wonder what an EIS fund is. EIS funds are a form of VC fund used to invest in EIS-eligible companies, with investors helping to support UK innovation and stimulate the economy's growth. Venture capitalist companies are some of the most common equity investors for high-growth startups. VCs buy shares and help private companies to grow and develop. Many VCs were founders of their startups, so they can offer advice and long-term support when investing.
VC funds manage the money of investors seeking equity stakes in startups and small-to-medium-sized businesses with strong growth potential. However, VC funds are often out of reach to most ordinary investors and are regarded as high-risk opportunities.
The best EIS investment funds from top VC firms in the UK
Below is a list of currently active EIS investment funds available in the UK, listed alphabetically. Some of the best venture capital) firms on the list are in London, with investors focusing on investing in startups based there.
01 Access EIS
One of the youngest funds on the list, Access EIS focuses on disruptive UK startups eligible for EIS fundraising.
Anthemis invests in tech companies that offer to change financial systems positively. They have a particular emphasis on fintech.
Amadeus helps invest in UK-based tech companies across various sectors. They invest in the early stages, including the pre-seed stage.
04 Arie Capital
Arie Capital invests in companies across sports, media tech, connectivity, fintech and life sciences industries from between the early to late stages.
Augmentum has focused on fintech companies based in the UK and Europe, usually investing at Series A and beyond.
06 British Design Fund
British Design Fund is focused on investing in purpose-led British product companies. They usually invest in startups and early-stage businesses.
Britbots is aimed at UK companies focusing on robotics and artificial intelligence (AI), providing early-stage investment when a company has begun to show commercial traction.
08 Better Ventures
Better Ventures support science and technology-based companies in service of the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals. They usually invest in the pre-seed and seed stages but can also offer support from Series A and further.
BGF has invested in small to medium-sized businesses across all sectors throughout different regions of the UK and Ireland. They have backed 72 companies in London through 95 equity funding rounds.
10 Calculus Capital
Calculus Capital created the first UK-approved EIS fund in 1999. Since then, they have supported companies across various sectors in both early and late stages.
11 Committed Capital
Committed Capital supports post-revenue technology companies across multiple sectors. They invest from Series A onwards.
12 Concept Ventures
Concept Ventures is the largest pre-seed fund in the UK, dedicated to early-stage companies. As one of the top VC (venture capital) firms, they offer follow-on investments from Series A and beyond.
13 Deepbridge Capital
Deepbridge Capital invests in startups in the technology, life sciences and renewable energy sectors at early and later stages.
14 Downing Ventures
Downing Ventures supports companies focusing on deeptech, healthcare, education, e-commerce and data analytics. They have backed 47 London-based companies through 70 equity rounds.
15 EMV Capital
EMV Capital supports B2B deeptech companies at an early stage. They are particularly focused on energy, transport, smart city and health tech sectors.
16 Endeavour Ventures
Endeavour Ventures supports tech-based companies across various sectors. They help with fundingd at every stage.
17 First Sentinel
First Sentinel helps provide SMEs equity and structured debt funding, usually focusing on established post-revenue companies.
18 Force Over Mass
Force Over Mass supports B2B tech companies, focusing on AI, fintech and Industry 4.0 across the UK and Europe. They invest in the early stages and up to Series B.
19 Foresight Williams Technology EIS Fund
A partnership between the Foresight Group and Williams Engineering, their EIS investment fund backs companies that can address a market size of over £100 million and aim to deliver 10x on investment. In addition, the companies must have an experienced management team and provide a sellable product 36 months after investment.
20 Fuel Ventures
Fuel Ventures want to see the growth in startups at the early stage when offering an EIS fund. As one of the top VC (venture capital) firms in the UK, they focus on tech companies and invest funds from pre-seed to Series A.
21 Guinness Ventures
Guinness Ventures invests in early-stage companies regardless of which business sector they belong in and where in the world they are located. They invest from the seed stage to Series A.
Haatch is an early-stage investment fund that offers support during pre-seed capital and later-stage funding rounds for UK startups. In addition, they invest in companies across all sectors.
23 Hambro Parks
Hambro Parks invests in tech and finance companies in the UK and abroad. They invest from the seed stage to Series A.
Imbiba invests in companies in the leisure and lifestyle sectors at early and later stages.
25 Impact Ventures
Impact Ventures help support companies that use technology to solve social and environmental issues. They usually invest during the late stage but have made a few early stage investments too.
26 IW Capital
IW Capital backs UK SMEs across multiple sectors, often companies with strong management teams. They usually invest in later stage funding rounds.
27 Jenson Funding Partners
Jenson Funding Partners offers "innovative and disruptive" investing to startup companies across various sectors, from the pre-seed to later stages.
28 Martlet Capital
Martlet helps early-stage B2B startup companies based in deeptech and life sciences, particularly those in Cambridge.
Maven supports businesses across many sectors and is happy to invest at any funding stage. They usually invest in companies valued from £4 million to £40 million.
Mercia backs tech companies across multiple sectors, usually from the early to later stages.
MMC invests in tech-based companies with a strong emphasis on blockchain and artificial intelligence (AI). They usually invest at the seed and Series A stages.
32 Molten Ventures
Molten Ventures support tech-based companies across both the UK and Europe. They focus on deeptech, consumer tech, health tech, enterprise software and SaaS. They usually invest at Series and beyond, particularly in hardware and software solutions.
Newable helps UK companies focused on MedTech, AI, space, robotics and 4IR. They invest at the early stage and beyond.
34 Nexus Investments
Part of the Nexus group, Nexus Investments support companies based in data, digital, health and EdTech sectors.
Northzone focuses on early-stage and later-stage companies from different sectors in the UK, Europe and the US.
36 o2h Ventures
The o2h Human Health SEIS Fund invests at the early stages, including pre-seed, for companies involved in AI and novel drug discovery.
37 Octopus Ventures
Octopus Ventures launched its fund in 2008 and have primarily made investments in businesses operating in healthcare, fintech, deeptech and consumer sectors. Since 2011, they have backed 95 London-based companies through around 162 equity deals.
38 Oxford Technology
Oxford Technology helps support companies across many sectors, usually investing at an early stage and beyond.
Parkwalk is one of the largest and most active investors in the UK and across the globe. As one of the leading VC (venture capital) firms, they help support science and tech companies involved in scientific discoveries and research at top UK universities. They invest in the early and late stages.
Praetura supports companies across multiple sectors, investing from the early to late stages.
41 Puma Investments
Puma Investments specialise in companies based in healthcare, real estate, retail, manufacturing, renewables and hospitality and leisure. They have a particular focus on established companies with significant revenue and a need for expansion.
42 Redline Capital
Redline Capital helps invest in tech companies based in the UK, Europe, North America and Israel. They offer support to businesses at any stage of funding.
Rockpool helps profitable companies across different sectors, usually investing in later funding stages. They also require the portfolio companies to have annual revenues of £5 million to £30 million.
Samaipata invests in early-stage companies based in digital platforming.
45 SFC Capital
SFC Capital is one of the most notable VC (venture capital) investment funds listed here, investing in early to later-stage startups across various sectors in the UK.
SidebySide invests in tech companies generating between £1-10 million in revenue. They invest from the early stage to the late stage.
Speedinvest supports companies based in deeptech, fintech, health, industrial tech, SaaS and marketplaces and consumer investing at early and later stages.
SuperSpeed supports early-stage B2B software companies.
49 Sustainable Ventures
Sustainable Ventures are involved in tech companies that are addressing the issues of climate change and resource scarcity, investing in early-stage businesses.
50 Symvan Capital
Symvan Capital are "empowering ambitious founders of tech startups and scale-ups", emphasising B2B companies. They invest in early-stage companies and at pre-seed.
51 Triple Point Impact EIS
Triple Point Impact EIS focuses on companies looking to make a social impact, usually in the education, environment, and health sectors.
52 Truesight Ventures
Truesight Ventures invests in pre-seed and seed-stage startups across Europe, focusing mainly on the UK and the Nordics.
53 Unicorn Ascension Fund
A partnership between Unicorn India Ventures and Ascension Ventures, Unicorn Ascension Fund invests in companies looking to break into the Indian market. They focus on IoT, hardware, security, fintech, MedTech, e-commerce and SaaS sectors.
54 West Hill Capital
West Hill Capital supports established companies with potential recurring capital and is usually closely involved, often appointing non-executive directors whenever possible. They focus on the fintech, manufacturing, software, natural resources, biotech and hospitality sectors.
This is just a list highlighting some of the many VC (venture capital) firms offering startups EIS investments. Remember you can use databases such as Angel Investment Network, Crunchbase and the UK section of the EU Startups Database to search the full list of EIS funding available for a startup.