Notion Capital is a venture capital firm based in London, England, investing exclusively in early stage business-to-business (B2B), software as a service (SaaS) businesses. Notion was founded in 2008 by the brothers Ben and Jos White, founders of MessageLabs, along with business partners Stephen Chandler, Chris Tottman, and Ian Milbourn. It has invested in companies such as Shutl. As of August 2015, its three funds have raised around $290 million.
The White brothers revealed plans to create the fund in October 2008, using around £20 million of the £100 million they made that month from the sale of MessageLabs to Symantec. The brothers, with partners, had earlier built and sold the technology companies RBR Networks, eventually Cisco's largest distributor in Europe, and then Internet service provider Star Internet. The three companies reached revenues of over US$100m a year. The other founding partners in the fund, Stephen Chandler, Ian Milbourn and Chris Tottman, were all former executives from those companies; Chandler being MessageLabs' financial director as well as being an investment corporate financier at UBS, and Milbourn a vice-president of corporate finance. Tottman held positions at both MessageLabs and Star.
Notion Capital has raised three venture funds, with an approximate total value of $290 million. Fund I in 2009 invested $50 million, Fund II in 2012 invested approximately $100m, and they closed their Fund III at $140m in May 2017.
Notion invests in software as a service (SaaS) companies, with a preference for business-to-business (B2B) and enterprise, cloud-based, fast-growth technology companies in Europe, Israel and possibly South Africa. The firm invests primarily at the Series A stage with an initial investment size of $1–3 million. The firm also has a seed investment program that invests in earlier stage start-ups typically as part of a syndicate, in round sizes below $1 million. It is also an investor in Seedcamp, the early-stage mentoring and investment program for European startups, founded by Index Ventures partner Saul Klein.
Its second fund received support from the European Union through the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (CIP); from the United Kingdom government, under its Enterprise Capital Fund (ECF) program; and from the European Investment Fund (EIF). This was the first time the ECF and EIF had been involved in supporting the same fund.
The Fund III is backed by existing and new investors at multiple institutions as well as family offices and high net worth individuals, including several world-renowned technology entrepreneurs. It also continues to be supported by the European Investment Fund and British Business Bank.
In 2013, Chandler, along with former Hewlett-Packard divisional chief technology officer Graham York, announced the launch of SeedCloud, a European accelerator targeting cloud computing startups in such areas as big data and machine learning.
Notion has invested in 33 companies, including major European exits such as Shutl to Ebay and Star to Claranet.
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