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Haatch and D2N2 LEP collaborate on an £8m Fund to Fuel Growth in Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire’s Startup Ecosystem
May 23 - 2024 - Press Release

Haatch and D2N2 LEP collaborate on an £8m Fund to Fuel Growth in Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire’s Startup Ecosystem.

Haatch, a leading venture capital firm known for its entrepreneurial roots and commitment to fostering innovation outside of London, announces a groundbreaking collaboration with D2N2 LEP, the Local Enterprise Partnership for Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham, and Nottinghamshire. This partnership aims to drive economic growth by investing in emerging startups and entrepreneurial talent in the region.

Founded by successful entrepreneurs, Haatch has established itself as a prominent player in the UK’s venture capital landscape with a mission to support ambitious founders and disruptive startups. Haatch has a proven track record of identifying and nurturing high-potential businesses across various sectors having backed over 100 companies so far.

D2N2 LEP is a leading force in driving economic growth and job creation in Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire. As the LEP for the region, D2N2 LEP provides strategic leadership and support to businesses, local authorities, and educational institutions to stimulate economic development and innovation.

The collaboration between Haatch and D2N2 LEP will see the two parties investing in businesses based in Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire through the Fund titled “Haatch D2N2 ESAIF”, meaning “Early Stage Angel Investment Fund”. With £8 million ring-fenced for investment, the partnership aims to fuel the growth of emerging startups and entrepreneurial talent in the region. The partnership will also see co-investment from British Business Investments via Haatch.

D2N2 LEP Chair Elizabeth Fagan, said: “I’m delighted to announce today that we are launching our Early Stage Angel Investment Fund here in Leeds at UKREiiF. The purpose of the Fund is to stimulate investment and growth in ‘early stage’ companies – those that have been trading between six and 24 months – that are based in Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham or Nottinghamshire (the D2N2 region). D2N2 LEP is contributing £4 million to the Fund and this will be match-funded by our investment fund manager, Haatch. Our aim is that over the longer term, these funds will be re-invested in the programme, to catalyse investment and growth for further early-stage companies.”

Haatch’s unique approach to venture capital, rooted in its founders’ entrepreneurial background, sets it apart in the industry. Fred Soneya, Co-founder and Partner at Haatch reflects on the firm’s journey: “At Haatch, we understand the challenges and opportunities that entrepreneurs based outside of London face firsthand because we’ve been there ourselves. Our experiences of building companies based in Cambridgeshire and Lincolnshire drove us to support other entrepreneurs with the guidance and resources they need to succeed. So far, 75% of Haatch’s investments have been made into companies based outside of London so our collaboration with D2N2 LEP is a perfect fit!”

Supported by British Business Investments, a prominent commercial subsidiary of The British Business Bank committed to fostering innovation outside of London, Haatch has played a pivotal role in supporting startups based outside of the capital.

Some notable non-London-based companies in Haatch’s portfolio include;

  • Aerocloud, an airport management platform who have raised from Haatch, Playfair, Stage 2 Capital, Triple Point and others.
  • Native Teams, a cross-border employee management tool supported by Haatch and Eleven Ventures.
  • Made With Intent, a platform that helps retailers understand visitor Intent who have raised from Haatch, Portfolio Ventures and Mercuri.
  • Bunch, a tool that allows users to manage all their household bills and divide them between housemates.

Over the next two years, Haatch and D2N2 LEP anticipate supporting approximately 13 companies through the collaborative fund. This strategic partnership signifies a significant step forward in unlocking the potential of Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire’s startup ecosystem and driving sustainable economic growth.

Scott Weavers-Wright OBE, Co-founder and Partner at Haatch, expresses his enthusiasm for the partnership and what it will bring to the region: “We are thrilled to join forces with D2N2 to empower entrepreneurs and catalyse innovation in Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire. By combining our expertise and resources, we aim to create a vibrant ecosystem where startups can thrive and contribute to the region’s economic prosperity.”

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