Steven Bartlett is prepared to heavily invest in the next generation.
After two years in the making, the Diary of a CEO host has launched Flight Story Fund — a $100 million VC fund to support early-stage companies — according to Sifted.
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Through his own background as a founder and investor and building a network through his podcast, Bartlett has brought together a group of who he has described as “Europe’s most successful entrepreneurs.”
The fund’s mission is to back the next generation of Europe’s unicorn founders with the help of its capital.
“When I speak to friends who’ve built great companies here, the feedback I’ve heard over and over again is that there’s a certain fatigue and pessimism towards taking capital from investors that haven’t been there and done it,” Bartlett said, according to the outlet.
Flight Story Fund plans to invest $1 million to $10 million in up to 10 early-stage startups based in Europe per year, the outlet details.
Although Bartlett hasn’t given many details yet about who’s a part of his fund, he shared that his investors include Alan Barratt — founder and CEO of sports nutrition giant Grenade — and founder of biotech firm Atai Life Sciences and billionaire investor Christian Angermayer.
Additionally, Bartlett hasn’t disclosed how much of the $100 million fund has closed. However, he says he has “verbal and contractual commitments for the entire amount.”
Flight Story Fund specifically aims to support underrepresented founders.
“If we don’t back the next female-founded unicorn in the next decade, I would consider myself a failure with this fund,” Bartlett openly shared to the outlet.
While Bartlett has worked to reach millionaire status, his current focus is to help entrepreneurs build their own success.
“At this phase of my life, making a load of money doesn’t seem a significant enough motivator to go through hardship,” he said, according to the outlet. “My passion in life is building companies, taking things from 0 to 100.”
He continued: “It’s going to enable me to use my network, my resources, to build greater companies, to accelerate them in a way that I don’t think they would be able to accelerate otherwise.”
Bartlett’s fund plans to target companies in biotech, healthtech and wellbeing, blockchain, space, commerce and technology.