British Business Bank Takes Stakes in Another 75 Companies

The British Business Bank has published a list of 75 additional companies in which the Future Fund holds an equity stake, taking the total to 335 as of 31st March 2022.

Launched on 20 May 2020, and open for applications until 31 January 2021, the Future Fund issued 1,190 companies with Convertible Loan Agreements worth £1.14bn in total. Third-party investors were required to at least match the Future Fund’s investment.

Companies in which Future Fund is now a shareholder include Epsilogen, a London-based developer of novel therapeutic antibodies to treat cancer; nDreams, a virtual reality games developer; and Shadow Foundr.

The Future Fund supported UK companies that typically rely on equity investment to fund their growth.

By creating a bridge to the next equity funding round, the Future Fund supported these companies through a period of considerable economic disruption and now the recovery.

The scheme used a recognised financial instrument known as a convertible loan. Unlike an equity investment, there was no requirement under the convertible loan to value the company or the price of its shares, at a time when company valuations had been significantly impacted by Covid-19.

Instead, the convertible loans were designed to convert into equity at the next equity funding round, converting at a discount to the price per share agreed between companies and investors in the funding round.

As of 31 March 2022, 335 loans had converted into equity shares, meaning that the Future Fund holds shares in an additional 75 companies which have successfully raised further private sector capital through an equity funding round since the last update.

Ken Cooper, Managing Director, Venture Solutions, British Business Bank said, “The Future Fund was created to increase the flow of capital to companies at the height of the pandemic, while ensuring long-term value for the UK taxpayer.”

“We’re delighted to see this flow of companies going on to raise further private sector capital. As a shareholder in these businesses, the Future Fund is well positioned to share in the benefits of their continued growth.”

The British Business Bank will update the list of companies in which Future Fund has a shareholding at the end of each financial quarter.

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