First Future Fund Company Conversions Named

The British Business Bank has published a list of 158 companies in which the Future Fund holds an equity stake.

Launched in May last year 2020, and closing in January of this year, the Future Fund issued 1,190 innovative companies (including Shadow Foundr) with Convertible Loan Agreements worth £1.14bn. Third-party investors were required to at least match the Future Fund’s investment.

These companies included Vaccitech, a co-inventor of the Astra Zeneca Covid-19 vaccine, AI education specialist Century Tech, and Ripple Energy, which allows customers to own shares of a wind farm.

The Future Fund was established to support the UK’s innovative businesses affected by Covid-19, providing vital support to innovative UK companies that typically rely on equity investment to fund their growth.

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

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 have been 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.

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

“We’re delighted to see so many companies already going on to raise further private sector capital. As a shareholder in so many promising businesses, the Future Fund is well positioned to support, and benefit from their continued growth.”

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