Funding that fits.
We’re forging a new path for venture that works 10x harder for founders. It improves the odds of success. It’s fair. Flexible. Supportive.
We’re with you right from the start.
We invest in exceptional businesses and talent focused on opportunities in marketplace, Applied AI and Web3 sectors - from day zero through to seed stage.
Our investors make things happen.
Funding works better for founders when investors become partners. We provide advice and on-demand executional support. At board level and on-the-ground.
We supercharge your growth.
Get exclusive access to Forward’s Studio - our team of startup growth experts. The Studio works closely with portfolio companies to design, build and hire - working together to reach strategic goals faster.
We know that every business is different. So we offer a range of funding options to ensure more founders can find their perfect fit. Right from day zero.
We invest £200k-£1 million in outstanding founders with big ideas at a pre-launch stage. Apply to meet our investment team via our Office Hours programme.
What type of businesses does Forward invest in?
Forward invests in three key investment areas. Marketplaces, applied AI and Web3. Although, we occasionally invest in standout startups outside of these core areas.
What stage does Forward invest at?
Forward invests in early-stage startups, primarily at pre-seed, seed and sometimes Series A.
Who are the investors at Forward?
Our investors have a wealth of experience across the VC and finance industries. You can find out more about about the Forward team on our Team page.
Nic Brisbourne, Nic is the founder and CEO of Forward Partners. He has worked in venture capital in London and Silicon Valley for over 20 years. Prior to founding Forward in 2013, he was a founding Partner at leading venture capital firm Draper Esprit. Before entering the venture capital industry he worked as a strategy consultant for Gemini Consulting and at London-based startup Operis Group plc.
Luke Smith, our Investment Partner, leads the investment team and sits on the board of portfolio companies such as Ably, Silico, OutThink, Up Learn and Sourcery. Prior to Forward, Luke was at the corporate VC Reed Elsevier Ventures and he started out his career at the strategy consultancy Oliver Wyman.
Esha Vatsa, our Senior Investor, joined us from Pi Labs, one of Europe’s most active prop-tech VCs. Over the past 5 years, she has invested in and worked with European technology start-ups at the earliest stages - from idea /pre-seed to Series A - and has a particular interest in B2B SaaS.
Megha Prakash, one of our Investors, started her career as a tech & media coverage banker at Goldman Sachs in New York, which is where she says she “caught the tech bug”. She also worked as a generalist M&A banker for several years at GS London. Prior to Forward she built her own startup Earthmiles which provided a B2B2C gamified wellbeing platform to SMEs in the UK and internationally. She now holds multiple board seats across our portfolio.
Ella Shen, one of our Investors, draws on her experience in sales and trading at Goldman Sachs and management consulting at KPMG, to help founders grow dreams into reality. Having moved from New York and completed the Master of Finance at the University of Cambridge she’s now made a home in London. She now holds multiple board seats and advisory roles across our portfolio.
What is your investment process and how long does it take?
Our investment process involves three meetings, first with an investor, then with the investment partner and finally with our CEO, Nic Brisbourne. We ensure there is enough time between each meeting to give both parties the opportunities to answer any questions. This process typically takes around a month but it can be quicker where we have a lot of experience and conviction in a sector, or it may be slower if we have a lot of questions.
How should I get in touch with Forward?
There are many ways you can get in touch:
- For pre-product and pre-revenue startups, you can apply for our monthly Office Hours.
- For seed-stage startups, you can submit your deck and apply for funding directly on our website here.
- Alternatively, can you email your deck and information to email@example.com.
Do you invest outside of the U.K?
Forward Partners primarily invests in U.K based start-ups.
Will one of the Forward Investor team join my board?
Ordinarily, one of our investors will join your board as a member or in an advisory position.
How long will it take for the money to reach my account once Forward has decided to invest?
Once we decide to make an investment, we then begin the due diligence process and prepare the necessary legal documents. This typically takes around 4 weeks.
How do multiple VCs settle on deal terms for the same round?
Typically, if there are multiple VCs who wish to lead a round, they will submit competing term sheets to the founder, who will then choose the VC they wish to work with. The other VCs can then invest under the same terms as the lead investor. The lead investor will support the founder in establishing the investment conditions, such as the amount of capital, from the other VCs.