Octopus Ventures Reading time: 3 mins

Octopus Ventures appoints Erin Platts as CEO

1 Jul 2024

HSBC Innovation Banking UK CEO joins to strengthen and scale Octopus Ventures’ pan-European platform

London, 1 July 2024: Octopus Ventures, part of Octopus Group and one of the largest and most active venture capital investors in the UK and Europe, today announces it has appointed Erin Platts as its new CEO. Erin will join Octopus Ventures in January 2025 following a stellar 20-year career at the intersection of finance and the technology start-up ecosystem, with a mandate to strengthen and scale its pan-European venture capital platform.

Erin spent close to two decades at Silicon Valley Bank (SVB), latterly as CEO of the UK & EMEA, scaling the business to more than 800 people and cementing its role as the bank of choice for technology start-ups, scale-ups and their investors. Following HSBC’s acquisition of SVB UK in 2023, Erin became the CEO of HSBC Innovation Banking UK, leading and developing the bank’s business within the innovation community.

In her new role at Octopus Ventures Erin will take on responsibility for refining and enhancing the equity capital business, increasing the pool of start-ups it supports across the UK and Europe and broadening its remit into adjacent capital provision. Erin will join the Octopus Executive Committee and report to Stuart Quickenden, Executive Chair. Alliott Cole, the current CEO of Octopus Ventures, will return to a full time investment role, working closely with our key partners to help Octopus to continue to back the very best performing businesses in our portfolio from start-up through to the later stages of growth.

Erin Platts said:

“After 20 years at Innovation Banking, with the bank in a strong position and with an experienced and stellar leadership team in place, I thought carefully about my next challenge. As someone who’s supported and championed the UK and European technology ecosystem, I’ve worked for many years alongside Octopus Ventures, as one of the most active early-stage investors in the same ecosystem. I have always been a big fan and feel a clear alignment on values, so I am thrilled that I’ll still be supporting technology entrepreneurs and founders to achieve their goals.

This role offers a phenomenal opportunity to build on Octopus Ventures’ excellent reputation and track record. It provides an exciting path to funding world-class companies at every stage of their journey, from the first cheque they receive, through scale-up capital, and ultimately to exit and beyond.”

Simon Rogerson, Octopus Group Co-Founder and CEO, said:

“We believe entrepreneurs and founders have the power to solve the world’s greatest challenges, acting as society’s true agents of change. As entrepreneurs ourselves, we understand what it takes to turn an idea into a successful company capable of changing our world for the better. You need strong teams, capital at every life stage and people in your corner who will champion your vision. Erin has been that champion for decades and I couldn’t think of a person better equipped than her to lead our venture capital business into its next phase of growth. Her ability to scale a business is remarkable. Her verve and optimism for the founder community is contagious and we can’t wait to have her on board in the new year.”

Erin added:

“The UK and Europe are brimming with the ingredients to be the most successful launchpad for category-leading companies, from leading universities to early-stage innovation and a plethora of talent. We need to continue to amplify and support those characteristics to mature and grow as an ecosystem, and I’m incredibly bullish about our prospects for success. I am looking forward to flocking in domestic and international capital and being a catalyst for positive, meaningful change.”

Octopus Ventures has been an active investor across the UK and European start-up ecosystem since 2008. It manages £2bn and backs more than 180 businesses through venture capital trusts as well as institutional and wholesale funds. Some of its notable successes include backing Zoopla, Secret Escapes, Depop, Swiftkey and Graze. The current portfolio includes the likes of Elvie, HURR, Orbex, ManyPets and Skin+Me.