British Business Bank, the economic development bank established by the UK Government, has published a list of 75 additional companies in which the ‘Future Fund’ holds an equity interest, taking total equity holdings to 661.
Launched on 20 May 2020, and open for applications until 31 January 2021, the Future Fund initially issued 1,190 companies with convertible loans worth a total of £1.14billion. Third-party investors were also required to at least match the Future Fund’s investment.
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.
Ken Cooper, managing director of venture solutions at the British Business Bank, explained: “The Future Fund was created to ensure a flow of capital, at the height of the pandemic, to companies that would otherwise have been unable to access government support schemes, while ensuring long-term value for the UK taxpayer.
“We are pleased to see so many of those companies now going on to raise further private sector capital, which will allow the Future Fund to benefit from their progress.”
Companies in which the Future Fund now holds an equity interest include Wales-based Cross-Flow Energy Company Limited, a renewable energy technology company helping businesses across the world leverage the power of ‘small wind’ to support the roll-out of clean, reliable energy solutions; Micrima Limited, a spin-out from the University of Bristol that is on a mission to detect more instances of breast cancer at an earlier stage; and AstronauTx Limited, a biotech company spun out of University College London that is exploring new ways of treating Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases.
Assessing the Future Fund’s impact
An independent year two assessment of the Future Fund has also been published, following a first early assessment published in 2022. The analysis focused on the contrast of the Future Fund portfolio against a counterfactual group, a group of comparable companies, to look at performance across metrics using secondary data.
The assessment found evidence of a positive impact from the Future Fund on fundraising, and a comparison of valuation to sales data suggests future growth expectations for portfolio companies may have improved relative to the counterfactual, although turnover growth, employment growth and survival prospects were cumulatively lower over 2021 and 2022.
It also found evidence that Future Fund portfolio companies had a strong focus on research and development activities, which could be impacting turnover and employment metrics.
The British Business Bank will also update the list of companies in which the Future Fund has an Equity Interest and the list of companies which have entered insolvency at the end of each financial quarter here.