Mustard Seed’s pioneering approach to impact venture has been backed by investment from Big Society Capital, the UK’s premier social investment institution.
Big Society Capital closed a meaningful investment round into Mustard Seed, enabling the London-based impact venture capital firm to continuing driving capital towards businesses whose purpose drives performance. Founded by Henry Wigan and Alex Pitt in 2015, Mustard Seed sees 1,500 socially and environmentally impactful ventures annually, seeded rising tech stars What3Words and Winnow Solutions, and realised the successful exit of Lifecake in April 2015.
Mustard Seed’s investment philosophy is in line with Big Society Capital’s goal of widening the investor pool pursuing social and financial returns. Termed “lock-step,” Mustard Seed seeks out business models in which the product or service being produced is inherently a benefit to society.
Big Society Investment Director Alexander Goodenough said:
“Mustard Seed has a growing network of engaged and socially driven high net worth investors who collectively wish to support socially impactful businesses across the UK. We are delighted to support its work to enable early stage social enterprises and mission-driven businesses to raise the investment capital they need in order to grow. We hope this will help to further develop the infrastructure of the social investment market.”
Prior investors into Mustard Seed have expressed a similar rationale, noting the “exciting” manner in which commercial rigor and social vision are combined. One high networth individual stated “Now, more than ever, the world needs evidence that capitalism can be enlightened and inclusive. Mustard Seed is providing it.”
We believe our investment approach, our particular version of sustainable capitalism
Investment Director and former BlackRock portfolio manager Henry Wigan adds,
“We believe our investment approach, our particular version of sustainable capitalism, better positions us to generate financial returns in excess of 20% IRR.”
Today Mustard Seed’s portfolio consists of 11 world-class ventures spanning innovations in food waste technology, advanced drug delivery systems, and new apps working to solve the loneliness epidemic among young mothers. It is also proud to report that 55% of its ventures are founded by women. Mustard Seed now consists of a core team of 7 working to source and vet upwards of 1,500 social and environmental ventures annually, which the team whittles down to 10 enterprises ready for seed round investments of £100,000 to £500,000. The FCA-authorised Mustard Seed Venture Fund allows the firm to follow-on its investments to Series A and beyond. The fund’s compatibility with the UK tax relief initiatives Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) and Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS) is also very attractive to investors.