UK government holds shares in 158 startups

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British Business Bank, which manages the government’s Future Fund, has provided US $ 1.1 billion and holds shares in 158 start-ups

The level of support from the UK government for the next generation of UK businesses was announced after

British Business Bank, which manages the government’s Future Fund program, announced Tuesday that it has stakes in 158 UK startups thanks to its loans.

The UK government set up its Future Fund in March 2020 to help UK startups during the coronavirus pandemic.

Start-up funding

Last year the government announced that this program had provided more than £ 1 billion in convertible loans to 1,190 businesses to help them through the pandemic.

Now the British Business Bank has announced that it has issued 1,190 corporate convertible loans worth £ 1.14 billion (US $ 1.58 billion).

And 158 of these convertible loans have now been converted into equity, which means that the state has the option of paying interest on the investment again later.

The vast majority of these firms are based in London.

That means the government now owns stakes in gig ticketing app Dice FM, craft soft drink brand Gunna, and DIY computer kit provider Kano.

Other companies the government has a stake in include 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 in a wind farm.

A full list of companies and their locations can be found on the British Business Bank website here.

“The Future Fund supports innovative UK companies that typically rely on equity investments to fund their growth,” said the British Business Bank. “By building a bridge to the next round of equity financing, the Future Fund has supported these companies in a time of significant economic disruption and now recovery.”

“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,” said Ken Cooper, Managing Director Venture Solutions at British Business Bank.

“We are pleased that so many companies are already raising capital from the private sector,” said Cooper. “As a shareholder in so many promising companies, the Future Fund is well positioned to support and benefit from their continued growth.”

Additional funding

In July of this year, the government announced a new £ 375 million program to encourage investment in “innovative companies of the future”.

The new program has been opened to applications as the government seeks to stimulate investment “in the UK’s fastest growing, most innovative and R&D intensive companies”…. “in a move aimed at boosting the UK economy after the pandemic.”

Under the fund, the government is committed to investing with private companies to provide extra momentum to companies looking for funding to take emerging technologies to the next step.

And the government is targeting not just tech companies, but also startups in the life sciences and clean energy.

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