Notion Capital

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Notion Capital
IndustryPrivate equity
Founded 📆2008 (2008)
Founder 👔
Headquarters 🏙️London, England
Area served 🗺️
Products 📟 Venture capital
Number of employees
📇 Address
📞 telephone

Notion Capital is a venture capital firm based in London, England, investing exclusively[1] in early stage business-to-business (B2B), software as a service (SaaS) businesses.

Notion was founded in 2008 by the brothers Ben and Jos White, founders of MessageLabs, along with business partners Stephen Chandler, Chris Tottman and Ian Milbourn. It has invested in companies such as Shutl. As of August 2015, its three funds have raised around $290 million.[2]


The White brothers revealed plans to create the fund in October 2008, using around £20 million of the £100 million they made that month, from the sale of MessageLabs to Symantec.[2][3] The brothers, with partners, had earlier built and sold the technology companies RBR Networks, eventually Cisco's largest distributor in Europe, and then Internet service provider Star Internet.[4] The three companies reached revenues of over US$100m a year.[3] The other founding partners in the fund, Stephen Chandler, Ian Milbourn and Chris Tottman, were all former executives from those companies; Chandler being MessageLabs' financial director[2] as well as being an investment corporate financier at UBS;[3] and Milbourn vice-president of corporate finance there.[3] Tottman held positions at both MessageLabs and Star.[3]

Ben White explained:[2]

In the UK there are lots of good ideas and original thinking but not enough skills or funding. We don't believe there is a sizeable tech venture capital specialist in the UK. When we started, UK venture capital didn't think big, so we went to the US.

Jos White has said that the fund was inspired by MessageLabs' difficulty in obtaining investment.[3] The initial fund was created in the Autumn of 2008.[5]


Notion Capital has raised three venture funds, with an approximate total value of $290 million. Fund I in 2009 invested $50 million,[6] Fund II in 2012 invested approximately $100m.[7][8] and they closed their Fund III at $140m in May 2017.[9]

Notion only invests in software as a service (SaaS) companies,[5] with a preference for business-to-business (B2B) and enterprise, cloud-based, fast-growth technology companies, mostly in Europe, but also Israel and South Africa.[7] The firm invests primarily at the Series A stage with an initial investment size of $1–3m. The firm also has a seed investment program that invests in earlier stage start-ups typically as part of a syndicate, in round sizes below $1m. It is also an investor in Seedcamp, the early-stage mentoring and investment programme for European startups, founded by Index Ventures partner Saul Klein.[10]

Its second fund received support from the European Union through the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (CIP);[11] from the United Kingdom government, under its Enterprise Capital Fund (ECF) program;[7] and from the European Investment Fund (EIF).[6] This was the first time the ECF and EIF had been involved in supporting the same fund.[8]

The new Fund III is backed by existing and new investors at multiple institutions as well as family offices and high net worth individuals, including several world-renowned technology entrepreneurs. It also continues to be supported by the European Investment Fund and British Business Bank.[12]

In 2013, Chandler, along with former Hewlett-Packard divisional chief technology officer Graham York, announced the launch of SeedCloud, a European accelerator targeting cloud computing startups in such areas as big data and machine learning.[13]


Notion has invested in 33 companies, including major European exits such as Shutl to Ebay[8][14] and Star to Claranet.

Other investments include:[15]

  • Adbrain
  • BCSocial[16]
  • Brightpearl[7]
  • Concentra
  • Duedil[17]
  • Idio
  • NewVoiceMedia[18]
  • MoveGuides
  • Rockabox
  • SelfNet
  • Shopa
  • Tradeshift[19]
  • Vizolution
  • Volo Commerce (formerly eSellerPro)[7]
  • Zattikka[20]


  1. "Building a Venture Platform for Success". Notion vc. Retrieved 2018-05-31.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Stafford, Philip (2013-10-26). "UK tech start-ups get a new message". Financial Times. Retrieved 23 November 2013. (subscription required)
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 Doidge, Fleur (2008-10-28). "MessageLabs brothers get £100m Notion". CRN. Retrieved 23 November 2013. (subscription required)
  4. Stafford, Philip (9 October 2008). "MessageLabs sold to Symantec for ₤397m". Financial Times.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Rooney, Ben (2011-03-04). "MessageLabs Founder Bets on Cloud Computing - Tech Europe - WSJ". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 23 November 2013. - note, source erroneously says 2009; other sources refer
  6. 6.0 6.1 "Notion Capital Reaches First Close for Fund 2". Reuters. 2012-04-17. Retrieved 23 November 2013.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 Rooney, Ben (2012-04-17). "Notion Closes $100 Million B2B Venture Fund". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 23 November 2013.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 Butcher, Mike (2012-04-16). "Euro SaaS Startups Rejoice – Notion Capital Closes $100M For Its Second Fund". TechCrunch. Retrieved 23 November 2013. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "Butcher" defined multiple times with different content
  9. "Notion holds final close for third fund on $140m | Unquote". Retrieved 2018-05-31. External link in |work= (help)
  10. "Seedcamp Investments LLP". PSEPS.
  11. "The future is in the Cloud". Notion Capital. Retrieved 23 November 2013.
  12. England, Lucy (23 July 2015). "Notion Capital's third fund just raised $120 million to back European cloud computing SaaS companies". Business Insider. Retrieved 7 August 2015.
  13. Butcher, Mike (6 March 2013). "New London Incubator SeedCloud Puts £500,000 Into Sentience Technology, Aims At Big Data Startups". TechCrunch.
  14. Taylor, Colleen (11 October 2012). "E-Commerce Delivery Startup Shutl Lands Another $3.2M In Run-Up To U.S. Launch". TechCrunch.
  15. "Portfolio". Notion Capital. Retrieved 23 November 2013.
  16. Wauters, Robin (16 April 2013). "Social collaboration software company BCSocial raises $1.1m from Notion Capital". The Next Web.
  17. Leach, Anna (11 April 2013). "Duedil Lands $5 Million Funding for Business Data Service". Wall Street Journal.
  18. Hesse, Jason (2010-05-07). "Investing in the cloud". Real Business. Retrieved 23 November 2013.
  19. Bradshaw, Tim (16 May 2011). "Tradeshift in $7m fundraising". Financial Times.
  20. Johnson, Bobbie (2012-04-17). "How Notion will spend $100m on Euro cloud startups". GigaOM. Retrieved 23 November 2013.

External links[edit]

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