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Ascension VC’s tech for good fund secures £17m



London-based investor Ascension VC has secured £17m for the first close of its fund backing tech for good startups.

The VC firm is targeting £50m in total for Ascension Fund III (AFIII) and expects to secure its second close in 2025.

Ascension VC said it aims to reduce social inequalities by backing tech startups serving a mass market and low-income audience with AFIII.

“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,” said Ascension managing partner Jean de Fougerolles.

The first close of AFIII included funding from Big Society Capital, as well as Places for People, Esmee Fairbairn and several family offices and high net-worth angels.

Ascension partner Emma Steele said the fund “sits at the intersection of major tech trends” including AI, digital health, future of work, fintech and energy.

Ascension-backed startups include Wagestream, which provides early access to wages for essential workers. Another is Switchee, a platform to optimise the cost efficiency of energy in social housing and rented properties.

“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,” said Big Society Capital investment director Gabriel Ng.

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