British Business Bank commits £50m to Longwall Ventures’ £75m science, engineering and healthcare start-up fund

Press release 07 November 2017

The British Business Bank, the UK’s national economic development bank, has committed £50m to Longwall Venture Partners LLP’s new £75m venture capital fund, Longwall Ventures 3 ECF LP.

The fund, Longwall’s third, will enable it to continue its strategy of investing in the UK’s best and most innovative science, engineering and healthcare start-up and early stage companies.

The British Business Bank made its commitment through the Enterprise Capital Fund (ECF) programme. ECFs help to increase the supply of equity to UK early stage and high growth companies by lowering the barriers to entry for fund managers to operate and incentivise private capital to invest in the UK VC market. Longwall Ventures 3 ECF is the 25th fund backed through the progamme and takes its total investment capacity to over £1bn.

Longwall, based in Harwell, Oxfordshire, manages two earlier funds: the £30m Oxford Technology ECF LP launched in 2008; and the £40m Longwall Ventures ECF LP launched in 2012. Previous beneficiaries have included Cobalt Light Systems, a leading instrument company for the pharmaceutical and security industries, Oxford Photovoltaics Limited, recently voted one of the 50 most innovative companies in the world for its innovative perovskite solar cell technology, and Keit Limited, which produces rugged industrial specification instruments.

This investment into Longwall’s third fund – our 25th ECF – highlights our ambition to build on our position as the largest UK-based LP investing in Venture Capital, to enable the provision of this critical funding to support scale-up businesses across the UK. Our Enterprise Capital Funds Programme is a key tool to allow us to support venture capital funds that will operate in parts of the market where smaller businesses might not otherwise be able to access the growth capital they need. Ken Cooper Managing Director, Venture Solutions, British Business Bank
The Longwall Ventures 3 ECF LP fund, focusing on startups in the critical science, engineering and healthcare sectors, is a great example of our commitment to helping such businesses achieve rapid growth and benefit the wider economy. Ken Cooper Managing Director, Venture Solutions, British Business Bank
We are delighted to continue our excellent relationship with British Business Bank as we launch our third fund. The enterprise capital fund programme has a proven track record in attracting new investors to this crucial sector for the UK economy and we thank British Business Bank and all our investors for their continued support. The UK has a strong tradition of innovation in science and engineering and we hope to partner with founders and entrepreneurs to ensure their businesses reach their full commercial potential. Matthew Frohn Partner at Longwall commented

Further Information

Notes to editors

About Longwall Venture Partners

Longwall Venture Partners LLP is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and is a venture capital firm investing in innovative, UK based, start-up and early stage companies in the healthcare, science and engineering sectors. The Longwall team comprises four partners in addition to investment management and financial management support. The team all have a mix of technical, operational and commercial expertise and experience. Longwall is based on the Harwell Campus, a leading science, innovation, technology and business campus, located just south of Oxford. The 710-acre campus employs over 5,000 people and hosts over £1 billion of world leading research infrastructure.

About the British Business Bank

The British Business Bank is the UK’s national economic development bank.  Established in November 2014, its mission is to make finance markets for smaller businesses work more effectively, enabling those businesses to prosper, grow and build UK economic activity. Our remit is to design, deliver and efficiently manage UK-wide smaller business access to finance programmes for the UK government.

British Business Bank programmes are supporting £3.4bn of finance to over 59,000 smaller businesses, and participating in a further £5.8bn of finance to 86 mid-cap businesses (as at March 2017).

As well as increasing both supply and diversity of finance for UK smaller businesses through its programmes, the Bank works to raise awareness of the finance options, including early stage VC, available to smaller businesses. 

British Business Bank plc is a limited company registered in England and Wales, registration number 08616013, registered office at Steel City House, West Street, Sheffield S1 2GQ.

As the holding company of the group operating under the trading name of British Business Bank, it is a development bank wholly owned by HM Government which is not authorised or regulated by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) or the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). The British Business Bank operates under its own brand name through a number of subsidiaries, one of which is authorised and regulated by the FCA.

British Business Bank plc and its principal operating subsidiaries are not banking institutions and do not operate as such. A complete legal structure chart for British Business Bank plc and its subsidiaries can be found on the British Business Bank plc website.