U.K.-based early-stage media technology venture capital firm GMG Ventures has rebranded to Mercuri. It has also raised £50 million ($81.35 million) for its second fund led by British Business Bank, through its Enterprise Capital Funds program, to back startups using artificial intelligence to reinvent traditional media models.
Other investors in the latest fund include The Scott Trust, owner of the Guardian Media Group and Mercuri’s inaugural investor, which launched it to support the development of new businesses amid disruptions happening in the media space. Several other institutional, strategic and angel backers participated too.
“We are delighted to announce the launch of our first multi-LP fund at a time when this profound progress in artificial intelligence is impacting the entire media technology ecosystem, including content creation, gaming, personalization, music, privacy, education, community and communication,” said Mercuri’s founding general partner Alan Hudson.
“The opportunity in the market is arguably stronger than ever right now with some complex issues facing the industry. We will endeavor to use the full breadth and depth of our experienced team’s knowledge to support the startups we invest in and create long-lasting value.”
Apart from the diversified base of investors and the change of name, nothing else is set to change at the VC firm, which plans to continue leading seed-stage investments, focusing on the creation, distribution, consumption and monetization of content and data.
Notably, Mercuri said it will be paying greater attention to startups enhancing the way people communicate and engage in a professional and personal context using AI.
“We have been investing in generative AI businesses since 2018, and it continues to be an area of interest. Within content creation, generative AI models include all the creator tools (for example text to different audio and visual formats), developer tools (text to code) and tools for thinking,” said Hudson.
“Creation also includes the creator economy where we are an active investor. There are over 200 million creators globally making a living from it and accessing the development tools associated with it,” he said.
Mercuri invested in 21 startups in its first fund, including the accelerator and incubator Founders Factory. It plans to fund eight new products, while making several follow-on investments every year.