UK’s Ascension VC announces €19.8M fund close of new Tech4Good pre-seed fund



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London-based Ascension VC, an early-stage VC fund, announced that it has secured £17M (approximately €19.84M) first close for its institutional impact fund, aimed at supporting visionary founders who are using technology to build more resilient societies.

The fund’s total target is £50M (approximately €58.36M), with a second close anticipated in 2025.

Jean de Fougerolles, Ascension’s Managing Partner, says, “At AFIII, we believe in the power of technology to drive positive change.”

“Our fund is dedicated to identifying commercially astute mission-driven founders who are at the forefront of key tech trends, capable of delivering attractive venture-style returns while reducing social inequalities.”

Brief about the Ascension Fund III

Led by Jean de Fougerolles and Emma Steele, Ascension Fund III identifies and backs Tech4Good businesses. It aims to address social inequalities by leveraging technology to reach a broader audience, including those with low income.

Over the past five years, AFIII claims to have made investments that can generate returns, notably through the early acquisitions of Credit Kudos by Apple and Guardian Angel by Octopus Wealth.

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Emma Steele says, “What’s so exciting about this fund is that it sits at the intersection of major tech trends such as AI/ML, digital health, future of work, fintech, energy decentralisation & decarbonisation, reinforcing the funds’ ambition of achieving venture-level returns whilst producing deep social impact. We’re on the hunt for impact dragons! (aka fund returners).”

AFIII claims to have forged a distinctive partnership with Bulbshare, a platform that blends technology with human insight. This ensures that Lived Experience informs every investment, making it relevant to its target audience.

Investors supporting Ascension VC

The first close of AFIII is backed by a mix of existing and new investors, including anchor Big Society Capital.

Other investors include Housing Association Places for People, Esmee Fairbairn, and several Family Offices and HNW individuals. Additionally, Ascension-backed founders such as Wagestream and Percent have also participated in the fund.

Gabriel Ng, Investment Director at anchor investor, Big Society Capital, says, “We are excited to back Ascension Fund III and the ‘impact dragons’ that they’ll be investing in.”

“The cost of living crisis hits the most vulnerable in our society hardest and there is a substantial role that Tech4Good ventures can play in redressing some of these inequalities, both by mitigating their impacts as well as addressing their root causes.”

“We have seen companies backed by Ascension do just that in their Fair By Design fund, tackling the poverty premium, and as a consequence generating outsize financial performance; we look forward to seeing a new crop of ventures demonstrating that impact is a source of value, supported by Ascension’s venture-building and impact management and measurement skills.”

Backing the next generation of tech and impact founders

Ascension backs impactful startups addressing societal challenges. Their latest fund, AFIII, backs innovations for both venture returns and societal impact, focusing on economic opportunity, financial inclusion, and better health.

Ascension’s Fair By Design fund has seen rapid growth among businesses like Wagestream, Tembo, Plend (focused on building financial resilience), and Switchee (dedicated to reducing fuel poverty). 

Meanwhile, from Ascension’s Good Food fund, Urban Legend and Better Nature are addressing obesity. Additionally, Ascension has collaborated with Nationwide Incubator, Wayra Accelerator, Aviva Foundation, and Barrow Cadbury Trust to extend the impact and commercial reach of its portfolio.


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Vishal Singh

Vishal Singh is a News Reporter and Social Media Marketing Lead at Silicon Canals. He covers developments in the European startup ecosystem and oversees the publication's social media presence. Before joining Silicon Canals, Vishal gained experience at the Indian digital media outlet Inc42, contributing to its growth with insightful content. Despite being a college dropout, his passion for writing has driven his career in journalism.

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