Region: East of England
Programme: Future Fund
As a young company, Bockatech needed cash to develop its technology and grow its business but worried that COVID-19 would hamper its ability to raise finance through private investors. Using the Future Fund has instead allowed the company to keep its projects going and take advantage of new business opportunities.
Read what it had to say in this Future Fund case study.
British Business Bank: Can you tell us what your company does?
Henri Gaskjenn, CEO of Bockatech: We help leading brands and manufacturers provide more cost‑effective packaging to meet new sustainability targets and performance challenges around the world. Our EcoCore® plastic moulding technology is used for packaging in many sectors, from food service and retail to industrial containers and healthcare. It is patent-protected and available for use under licence.
The coronavirus has affected a huge number of businesses across the UK. What problems were you facing as a result of the outbreak and what made you apply to the Future Fund?
We’re a young company and needed cash to develop our technology. The COVID-19 crisis was likely to affect our ability to raise private investment. We’d just started a funding round when the Future Fund was announced and were fortunate to be able to access the scheme with the support of one of our previous shareholders.
How long did the application process take? Did you need any support?
The application process was quick and straightforward to complete. We also obtained legal advice to understand the scheme in more detail, as well as its implications.
We were pleasantly surprised by the speed at which our application was handled. With the support of our solicitor, everything ran very smoothly.
The Future Fund has enabled us to avoid short-term problems with getting essential funding — at time when private investors could be nervous — and not miss a narrowing window of opportunity with major brands manufacturers for more sustainable packaging.
Henri Gaskjenn, CEO of Bockatech
What advice would you give to other businesses that are applying to the Future Fund?
The Future Fund proved helpful and relevant in our case as we checked all the conditions to access the scheme. I’d recommend getting legal help so you can fully understand the scheme and its implications.
In terms of practical advice, it may also be wise to put the proceeds from the scheme into a separate account. Although there are no specific audit requirements currently, having it clearly separated could help with this in future.
How has the Future Fund helped your organisation to weather the outbreak? And what might have happened if you hadn’t received the money?
With many well-known brands currently looking to reduce the environmental impact of their packaging, as well as new governmental changes to regulations that will force more sustainability, the time for our new technology is now.
Packaging manufacturing tooling takes a long time to put into service and lasts for many years. Not taking chances as they arise could mean being ‘locked out’ for a decade and losing substantial future licence revenues.
Without finance from the Future Fund, we may have had to reduce or cancel key development projects and miss out on valuable opportunities.