Octopus Ventures Reading time: 3 mins

Octopus Ventures appoints Emma Davies as co-CEO to capitalise on ‘golden age’ of European tech

20 Jan 2021
  • Co-CEO Emma Davies will help Octopus Ventures expand its platform to capitalise on the huge opportunity it sees in European venture in the coming years
  • Co-CEO Alliott Cole bullish on European tech as fund builds on 13 years of success
  • Emma will be responsible for product, operations and corporate development, while current CEO Alliott Cole will focus on managing investment strategy and the growing portfolio

Octopus Ventures, part of Octopus Group and one of the largest and most active VCs in Europe, today announces the appointment of Emma Davies as Co-CEO. Emma joins with more than 20 years’ as an investor and portfolio manager and will work alongside the current CEO, Alliott Cole, as Octopus Ventures expands its platform for the next stage of growth.

Emma will focus on product, operations and corporate development within the team, allowing Alliott to focus on managing the investment strategy and the growing portfolio. Emma joins from Marlylebone Partners, where she was Partner, prior to which she held a number of senior positions at Big Society Capital, where she was Chief Investment Officer, The Wellcome Trust, and Perry Capital.

The appointment comes as Octopus Ventures continues to double down on its growth trajectory to capitalise on the ever growing opportunities within European technology and venture capital. The investment team has already expanded significantly in recent months, growing by 45% following 9 new hires in October 2020 and the launch of a new consumer focused investment ‘pod’.

Alliott Cole, Co-CEO of Octopus Ventures, comments:

“We are now entering a golden age of European technology and Emma’s appointment will help us to expand our platform to keep scaling and take full advantage of this. It feels like we are at an inflexion point and I firmly believe that many of the world’s most impactful technology companies of the next decade will come from Europe, with even greater flows of capital likely to follow. There is a huge role for Octopus Ventures to play in this as we build on our strong track record to seek out and back the most talented founders across the continent. Indeed, this sustained optimism is testament to the entrepreneurs who, in the last year, have demonstrated their remarkable ability to adapt and thrive amid the most challenging of circumstances.”

Commenting on her appointment, Emma Davies said:

“Octopus Ventures has built a reputation as one Europe’s leading VCs and I am delighted to have the opportunity to work alongside Alliott and the team to help drive forward the next stage of growth. The business is brimming with talent and the calibre of entrepreneurs within the portfolio, as well as the list of exits, speaks for itself. It really is an incredibly exciting time for European venture capital and we expect to see increased demand from institutional investors across the globe looking for ways to access the growth opportunities it offers.”

This latest hire takes Octopus Ventures’ headcount to 46 in total, including 29 investment professionals and three talent specialists, who are dedicated to helping portfolio companies hire the best talent and establish the skills and processes required when scaling quickly. The team invests circa £100 million every year into early-stage businesses across health, deeptech, fintech and consumer with a portfolio of more than 90 companies and £1.3 billion under management.


For journalists in their professional capacity only. Personal opinions may change and should not be seen as advice or a recommendation. We do not offer investment or tax advice. Issued by Octopus Investments. Octopus Ventures is part of Octopus Investments Limited, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered office: 33 Holborn, London, EC1N 2HT. Registered in England and Wales No. 03942880. Issued: January 2021.