Investment Strategy

The ACE Fund backs entrepreneurs with exceptional track records; we like teams who have a duo at their core - a technology/product founder and a business/marketing founder. We can engage with them at the concept stage, but they must have a beta product in place before we will invest.

We are looking for "digital enablers" or enabling technologies which will bring high-growth to the established companies with large distribution and reach in the new digital ecosystems which are emerging. Entrepreneurs who are tackling big problems interest us, but we are interested in any well-executed plan. We believe that the companies which will win in this next era will be those companies who understand their role in their ecosystem, and are able to maneuver or position themselves in a role to organise the business model in the multi-stakeholder environment in which we operate today. We call this "Ecosystem Economics" TM.

This investment period for us is about disruptive economics not disruptive technology. Of special attention to us are the companies who can become the "operating system" for the new digital ecosystems. Data and recognising the economic value of it to the consumer - whether healthcare, financial services, lifestyle/shopping - are also of significant interest to Ariadne and the Ariadne Fund team.

Overall, we believe that the entrepreneur is the value creator, so we look for an entrepreneur who we believe has a unique ability to lead a team, define an industry, communicate his/her vision, and work exceptionally hard and smart. These are the people for whom we exist and for whom we show up at work every day.

Digital Ecosystems

  • Broadcast Media and Entertainment - the world of TV, gaming, books, education and music
  • Creative Industries - a strength of the UK's, but the ecosystem is relatively unstructured; from artists, to design agencies, we are looking for the winners
  • Financial Technology - another arena where the UK leads;
  • Healthcare - we believe this is a multi-billion pound industry ready to be opened up to the forces of
  • consumer technology, digital business models, entrepreneurial spirit and the quest for excellence in service for all
  • Mobile Money - we want to continue the work we started with Monitise in 2004 as they develop the ecosystem, we will be their partner
  • Retail - whether fashion, lifestyle, travel
  • Smart Cities - how do the kitchen and the car operate in the future

In each of the above ecosystems, Ariadne has shareholders, Limited Partners, Advisors, portfolio companies and team members who give us insight, network/access and dealflow.

Geographic Focus

We invest in companies based in the United Kingdom.

Investment Stage

The Ariadne Fund is an early-stage investor in entrepreneur-led businesses, providing capital for seed and start-up (Series A) rounds.

Investment Size

We make investments of £150,000 to £1million in the first funding round and will follow on in subsequent rounds where the company is executing successfully against its business plan.