What does a typical DSW Ventures investment look like?

Our typical investment is from £100,000 up to £1 million at the pre-Series A stage, typically as a single or lead investor. Our primary focus is on software, science and consumer technology businesses, but we will invest in businesses in other sectors with a scalable model, protectable market positions and talented founders. We take minority stakes, typically of less than 30% of equity and our investments are usually compliant with the Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS) or Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS).

What are DSW Ventures’ key investment criteria?

Our key investment criteria are as follows:

  • UK-based, regional companies
  • Revenue-generating or demonstrable commercial traction, or in the case of deep technology, IP-rich with early validation of the technology
  • Total round size below £2.5 million
  • Valuation below £10 million
  • SEIS/EIS qualifying
  • Exceptionally strong and capable founder teams

What is the timescale for an investment?

The timescale for investment with us is around two to three months from the initial meeting depending on requirements and stage of business. All our portfolio companies meet and present to our Investment Committee during the investment process.

How involved are DSW Ventures post-investment?

We work closely with our portfolio companies in order to add genuine value to our investments. We go beyond just ‘the money’; our founder teams benefit from the network and experience of the DSW Ventures team, as well as that of our Investment Committee and individual angels.

What are the Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS) and Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS)?

SEIS and EIS are government schemes which encourage equity investment in early stage growing businesses by offering tax reliefs to individual investors, the most important being:

  • 50% (SEIS) or 30% (EIS) of amount invested  educated from personal income tax on qualifying investments
  • No Capital Gains Tax due on exit if (S)EIS relief maintained
  • Loss relief available on personal income tax at the highest rate paid

See our full page on SEIS and EIS investments for further information. Individuals are advised to seek the assistance of a suitably qualified finance professional to assess their suitability for investments of this nature.

How do I become an investor?

If you are interested in investing with DSW Ventures, please contact our partners for further information.

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