The British Business Bank commissioned RSM UK Consulting to undertake an evaluation of the Future Fund programme. The Future Fund was established in May 2020 and deployed £1.14bn of funding through Convertible Loan Agreements (CLAs) to 1,190 equity-backed companies.
This early assessment report provides initial evidence on the effectiveness of the Future Fund programme in meeting its objectives. The programme’s main objective was to increase the supply of finance to viable, equity-backed UK companies that would otherwise have had problems raising finance due to adverse market conditions during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The early assessment found that:
- Pandemic uncertainty reduced the supply of equity finance for early-stage companies.
- The speed with which finance was supplied was seen as key in supporting companies during the pandemic slump.
- Companies and lead investors considered the application process and features of the Future Fund to be clear.
- The key short-term objective of increasing the supply of finance to potentially viable UK equity backed companies was broadly met.
- R&D was a key focus for recipient firms while revenue rose on average, though broad investment trends are less clear.
- Early evidence suggests the programme may have met its short-term objectives.
This early assessment is part of a multi-year evaluation of the Future Fund, with future stages of the evaluation focusing on measuring the programme’s impact in more detail.