Cornerstone VC launches fund to back entrepreneurs in UK from diverse backgrounds

Cornerstone VC, which was born from the black-led angel group Cornerstone Partners, has launched a £20m fund to invest in entrepreneurs in the UK from diverse backgrounds.

This vehicle will focus on tech-enabled companies at pre-seed and seed stage, typically investing initial cheques of between £250,000 and £1m with capital reserved for follow-on funding.

The firm plans to invest in up to 40 companies with a significant proportion based outside of London. It will target management teams with inherent (such as age, gender or ethnicity) and acquired diversity (social capital) and address the funding gap for entrepreneurs that are often overlooked and underestimated by the wider funding community.

Cornerstone VC boasts an ‘innovative twist’ on the traditional venture model, with its angel network also receiving a share of the fund’s profits via carry participation.

The firm’s mission is to establish itself as a leading venture capital firm with a diversity led investment strategy that unlocks outperformance and delivers returns for investors.

BGF, the UK’s most active investor of growth capital and The Hg Foundation, a grant-giving charity with a mission to remove barriers to education & skills in technology, both led the first round close of the fund. Other investors include Atomico, Nic Humphries and many others.

Cornerstone Partners managing partner Rodney Appiah said,“We are on a mission to put teams at the heart of our investment approach, believing diversity is key to driving outperformance. We are looking for businesses that are intentional about team composition, can excel in high growth environments and are truly obsessive about execution. People first, software second.”

Cornerstone VC is led by Rodney Appiah, Founder and Managing Partner, alongside partners Edwin Appiah and Wilfred Fianko.

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