Posted: Thu 19th Jan 2023
Steven Barlett, star of TV's Dragons' Den and founder of Social Chain, has launched a new fund to invest in high growth businesses across Europe.
The $100m (£81m) Flight Story Fund will invest $1m - $10m in commerce, biotech, technology, blockchain, health and space start-ups with the potential to reach a $1bn valuation, so-called unicorn status.
Discussing the fund, Barlett said:
"Throughout the last decade, I developed an immense network of the most successful entrepreneurs in Europe. Flight Story Fund connects the founders to the investment and tools they need to catapult them through their growth trajectory to accelerate their timeline to unicorn status.
"I've been on the journey myself and now I am helping other skilled founders succeed in the same way. The launch of the Flight Story Fund is an invitation to Europe's best entrepreneurs from Europe's best companies - come and take flight with us."
The fund is backed by successful individuals who have contributed around $1m each. Bartlett told The Times they include Alan Barratt, founder of nutrition business Grenade, and biotechnology investor Christian Angermayer.
Speaking to Sifted, he said he got around 1,000 enquiries from entrepreneurs last month for investment or support, before adding:
"If we don’t back the next female-founded unicorn in the next decade, I would consider myself a failure with this fund."
Aged 21, Barlett founded social media agency Social Chain. It went public six years later with a valuation of $600m (£486m).
He is now an investor with more than 20 investments in companies including high protein drinks brand Huel and German aerospace company Isar Aerospace.
In 2021 Bartlett joined BBC TV's Dragons' Den as the show's youngest ever Dragon. He is also the presenter of The Diary of a CEO, Europe's most downloaded business podcast.