The proposals come as venture capital, or VC, funds come under pressure to be more sparse with their investments, faced with the prospect of an impending economic downturn. Britain leads Europe when it comes to venture dealmaking, pulling in a record $13.2 billion last year.
Unmind’s Morgan said he was more fortunate than others to raise money ahead of the U.K. coronavirus lockdown. The London-based workplace mental health platform recently closed a $10 million funding round
“I think more could be done for businesses who are in that tech-centric venture space,” he said. “We are very fortunate with our own value proposition and the coincidental timing of our round. But in the future I’d like to see more being done.”
Others aren’t as lucky. Profusion, a data analytics and marketing firm, had been looking to raise funds to expand its business and create a diversity-focused data science academy. But it was forced to pause fundraising efforts due to the health crisis.
“VCs are definitely becoming cautious,” Natalie Cramp, CEO of Profusion, told CNBC. “You saw that back in 2008 and we’ll see it again now.”
“In some respects perhaps that’s good,” Cramp said, highlighting SoftBank’s bailout of office rental giant WeWork. “But it does make it difficult when there’s so much potential in the stuff that you do for the future and you need to accelerate it.”
“The messaging coming out from the community by and large is a lot of people are in survival mode at the moment,” Tech London Advocates’ Shaw said. “They don’t know how long this is going to last.”
UK start-ups call for emergency support to help them survive coronavirus crisis – CNBC