Ascension Blended Fund 2023-24 – Fund overview

The Ascension S/EIS Fund focuses on a broad spectrum of sectors: FinTech, Commerce, Sustainability/Climate, New Work, Next Gen Media, Health, and DeepTech. 

This article provides a brief overview of what drove our pre-seed investment decisions and how we identify potential leaders in these exciting fields. 

Criteria for Ascension’s Investment

A successful investment for us hinges on a team’s deep understanding of their domain, alongside their commercial acumen. We look for balanced teams, ideally with co-founders with skills covering business and technology. The underlying technology’s quality and its market competitiveness are also pivotal in our decision-making process, along with a scalable business model with global potential.

Sample of our Portfolio 

Amilis – is a platform that allows users to navigate through their egg-freezing journey seamlessly.

The Amilis platform stands out due to its innovative approach and strong founder credentials in transforming the fertility landscape. The co-founders, Sarita with her healthtech background and Yasmin with her expertise in machine learning, are uniquely equipped to revolutionise the egg freezing journey. The rapidly growing market for egg freezing services complements Amilis’s strategic advantage in collecting comprehensive, previously untapped data across a woman’s entire egg freezing process. This data accumulation not only positions Amilis as an attractive partner for pharmaceutical companies, but also supports crucial research through indirect human clinical trials, ultimately aiming to improve well-being and advance medical research.

Round – treasury management for startups. 

Round benefits from powerful flywheel dynamics: as each new business joins, it increases assets under management (AUM), which in turn attracts more partners and diversifies their product offerings. This creates a self-reinforcing cycle that enhances their competitive stance and paves the way for sustained growth. The Round founding team also has a diverse set of skills, which includes full-stack technology expertise, innovative product development, effective sales strategies, and sharp business acumen – providing a strong foundation to address complex challenges and scale efficiently.

5D AI – leverages large language models (LLMs) and advanced natural language processing techniques to automate the classification and interpretation of unstructured data.  

5D AI has robust network effects – each user interaction enhances the proprietary data pool, continuously improving the product’s effectiveness and attractiveness. Furthermore, the timing is opportune; with the advent of GPT-3 and GPT-4, there is a crucial inflection point in generative AI adoption across industries. This situation presents a significant opportunity for 5D AI to lead in spaces where large corporations lack the necessary expertise. Additionally, the impeccable founder-market fit is a key advantage. The team’s extensive knowledge in linguistics and AI, combined with their comprehensive experience and connections in the real estate sector, uniquely positions them to excel.

Workstream – real-time financial oversight for construction. 

Workstream’s platform exhibits powerful virality and network effects: each contractor’s engagement organically expands user base and data collection exponentially, which in turn enhances project underwriting and attracts even more contractors, creating a self-sustaining cycle of growth and profitability. Furthermore, the founding team brings over two decades of direct construction experience and an extensive network of industry contacts. This deep market insight and operational prowess uniquely equip the business to meet the needs of its target customers and outpace competitors. 

HealthKey – is changing the way we access the best health and wellbeing providers. 

Our investment in HealthKey is anchored on its robust technological foundation and expanding network of healthcare providers and payers. The partnership with one of the UK’s largest insurers to enhance payment solutions and develop a sophisticated decision engine significantly accelerates HealthKey’s market penetration and scalability. By integrating its services into employers’ benefits platforms, HealthKey not only broadens its functional appeal but also becomes vital to employee health strategies. These strategic initiatives position HealthKey at the forefront of transforming healthcare into a more accessible, efficient, and user-focused ecosystem.

Anathem – generative AI for mental health clinicians. 

Anathem’s competitive edge comes from its strong founder-market fit, a diverse team with expertise in finance, psychiatry, and software development, and their innovative approach. This team deeply understands the healthcare technology challenges and requirements. Despite the hurdles of NHS adoption and market complexities, Anathem’s early engagements with NHS Mental Health Trusts and private clinics demonstrate its potential to significantly improve mental health care efficiency and patient outcomes.

At Ascension, we firmly believe in the transformative power of thoughtful investments. Our Blended Fund is designed not just to foster growth but to ensure that it happens within companies that align substantial innovation with significant impact. 

Click here to learn more about other great companies we have invested in.