This Venture Fund Ends Homelessness

Our vision

A home provides the vital foundation to unlock the potential of every human being. Imagine if everyone in the UK had a safe and stable place to call home. What could we achieve?

The role we play

[Image supplied by: Agile Homes]

The Venture Studio from Crisis was created to invest in, and scale ventures that end homelessness for those experiencing it or prevent homelessness from happening in the first place. It complements Crisis’ existing work of over 50 years in policy, research, and in the provision of direct services, to provide another tool in Crisis’s work to end homelessness. 

Our role in the global shift towards a more socially conscious investment world is to back the right startups that can help bring an end to homelessness, whilst supporting them to unlock the right resources to scale. To enable this, we provide access to: 

  • Funding 
  • Cross-sector industry expertise 
  • Crisis’ brand, networks and insights 
  • Access to people with lived experience of homelessness for user testing and co-production 
  • A range of technical, business and product support in a tailored growth programme 


If 40,000 people were prevented from becoming homeless for one year in England it would save the public purse £370 million.

Our philanthropic fund ambitions


Earlier this year we launched our Philanthropic Venture Fund – This Venture Fund End Homelessness - to enable us to scale our work and support even more businesses ending homelessness. 

We are seeking mission-aligned philanthropic capital to help us accelerate the end of homelessness through entrepreneurship.

We aim to raise £20 million over ten years to fuel our investments into impact-led businesses and founders. 


“We have now begun raising our first ever philanthropic venture fund to build the end of homelessness through entrepreneurship. I invite you to join our community, bring forward your ideas, skills and passion and accelerate the end of homelessness."

Matt Downie MBE, Chief Executive, Crisis



Over a 10-year period, this fund will enable us to invest in 71 companies and make 24 follow-on investments in successful portfolio companies. 

We have bold ambitions. Our thorough due diligence - supported by our strategic advisory board, 27 partner organisations, and the directors and trustees at Crisis – assures donors that any start-up we invest in will deliver a material difference to ending homelessness.

We’ll continue to evaluate our impact on a yearly basis and iterate our investment thesis to maximise impact. 




Our operating costs are currently funded by the players of the People’s Postcode Lottery.  
This means that all donations to our £20 million philanthropic fund are used solely to support businesses aligned in our mission to end homelessness.




With basic living expenses continuing to outpace household incomes, through key charitable trusts we manage as sole trustee, we are happy to support the Venture Studio from Crisis in its aims to address housing need. We are excited by the potential impact their strategic approach will have on the systemic issues of homelessness, by investing in innovative housing solutions.
Ludlow Trust Company

The role of venture philanthropy

Our approach also seeks to take advantage of the growing market of impact investment now estimated to be worth £58 billion in the UK alone, and to secure increased investment into solutions looking to end homelessness. 

  • Alongside cross-sector collaboration, private capital has a vital role to play in backing businesses that seek to solve a longstanding systemic problem, in new and innovative ways. 

  • We believe that Philanthropists can catalyse the impact potential of ambitious businesses and founders, generating significantly more impact and financial returns that can be recycled to create yet more impact. 

We’re excited about the practical examples and learnings that are already being generated through this work, and the weight that this can add to our work as a charity, and as an impact ecosystem. Informing and strengthening our future policy asks, research and service delivery through real-life examples of what’s possible.

Why housing?

We cannot end homelessness without homes.  

Like the United Nations, we believe that Housing is a basic Human Right. Our goal is to directly increase access to and supply of good quality, affordable housing to those at risk of or already experiencing homelessness. That’s why over the last three years we’ve invested in these startups.

  • In the last 12 months, there have been over 290,000 households facing homelessness in England. 

  • 104,510 households were in some form of temporary accommodation in England at the end of March 2023.

  • This includes 125,000 children. 

Key impact

  1. Bridge Housing Solution’s services resulted in £22,068,000 saved by Local Governments by sourcing social housing tenancies as opposed to Private Sector Temporary Accommodation (from July 2022 to June 2023). 

  2. Agile Homes trained four individuals, released from prison on temporary license, in offsite construction techniques. Additionally, through the company’s partnership with the Ministry of Justice, several other prisoners built panels of homes.

  3. Urban Intelligence achieved their 2023 impact target of 15 public sector organisations using their software to help meet housing targets. 

Our most recent impact report details the impact we’ve had in our previous financial year from July 2021 to June 2022.  Providing a new model of charitable innovation, we believe our impact-led approach will be an inspiring catalyst for others – highlighting how impact investing can create positive outcomes, rejecting the trade-off between social good and financial returns.


Case Study

One of Pfida's customers — a taxi driver — was in financial difficulty due to ill health and needed to continue supporting his family. They were able to use the equity they had built up with Pfida’s product to pay rent and maintain their home, while also relying on universal credit.  

In 2022, we invested in Pfida - a truly unique, ethical financial tech company based in London. They have created a debt-free model of financing homes. Their mission is to provide everyone with equal and fair opportunities to save, invest, and own a home without interest and debt. 

By investing into businesses such as these, we can be at the forefront of innovative solutions to eradicate homelessness across the UK.

“Pfida have never had a single default because their customers have so much flexibility and breathing room in their payments.” 

Raza Ullah, CEO Pfida

If you're interested in learning more about how the Venture Studio aligns with your philanthropic ambitions, please reach out to Sarah Hopley, Head of Venture Studio. She’d love to speak or meet with you to discuss engagement opportunities.  

"In a better future, there would be no hostels, hotels and B&Bs. There would be proper, stable homes for anyone threatened with homelessness.”

Mark, Crisis Expert by Experience