News

British Business Bank publishes updated list of 335 companies in which the Future Fund has a shareholding

Today the British Business Bank publishes a list of 75 additional companies in which the Future Fund holds an equity stake, taking the total to 335 as at 31 March 2022. Launched on 20 May 2020, and open for applications until 31 January 2021, the Future Fund issued 1,190 companies with Convertible Loan Agreements worth £1.14bn in total. Third-party investors were required to at least match the Future Fund’s investment.

Companies in which Future Fund is now a shareholder include Epsilogen, a London-based developer of novel therapeutic antibodies to treat cancer; and nDreams, a virtual reality games developer.

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.

The scheme used a recognised financial instrument known as a convertible loan. Unlike an equity investment, there wasn’t a requirement under the convertible loan to value the company or the price of its shares, at a time when company valuations had been significantly impacted by Covid-19. Instead, the convertible loans are designed to convert into equity at the next equity funding round, converting at a discount to the price per share agreed between companies and investors in the funding round.

At 31 March 2022, 335 loans had converted into equity shares, meaning that the Future Fund holds shares in an additional 75 companies which have successfully raised further private sector capital through an equity funding round since the last update.

Ken Cooper, Managing Director, Venture Solutions, British Business Bank said: “The Future Fund was created to increase the flow of capital to companies at the height of the pandemic, while ensuring long-term value for the UK taxpayer. We’re delighted to see this flow of companies going on to raise further private sector capital. As a shareholder in these businesses, the Future Fund is well positioned to share in the benefits of their continued growth.”

The British Business Bank will update the list of companies in which Future Fund has a shareholding at the end of each financial quarter.

Further information on the Future Fund is available.

On 6 July 2021 the British Business Bank published data giving a final, comprehensive picture of how the Future Fund has supported businesses during the pandemic.

Notes to Editors

Future Fund

The Future Fund was established to support the UK’s innovative businesses affected by Covid-19. These businesses were unable to access other government business support programmes, such as CBILS, because they are either pre-revenue or pre-profit and typically rely on equity investment. The Future Fund, now closed to new applications, provided UK-based companies with convertible loans, on the condition that third-party investors at least match the Government’s commitment. The convertible loans are designed to convert into equity at the next equity funding round. The Future Fund was developed by government and delivered by the British Business Bank.

About the British Business Bank

The British Business Bank is the UK government’s economic development bank. Established in November 2014, its mission is to drive sustainable growth and prosperity across the UK, and to enable the transition to a net zero economy, by improving access to finance for smaller businesses. Its remit is to design, deliver and efficiently manage UK-wide smaller business access to finance programmes for the UK government.

The British Business Bank’s core programmes support over £8.5bn[1] of finance to almost 95,000 smaller businesses[2]. The British Business Bank is responsible for running the government’s Coronavirus business loan schemes and Future Fund, together responsible for delivering £80.4 bn of finance to 1.67m businesses. The schemes are now closed to new applications.

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 available to smaller businesses. The British Business Bank Finance Hub provides independent and impartial information to businesses about their finance options, featuring short films, expert guides, checklists and articles from finance providers to help make their application a success. In light of the coronavirus pandemic and EU Exit, the Finance Hub has expanded and it now targets a wider business audience. It continues to provide information and support for scale-up, high growth and potential high growth businesses, but now provides increased content, information and products for businesses in survival and recovery mindsets. The Finance Hub has been redesigned and repositioned to reflect this, during this period of economic uncertainty.

British Business Bank plc is a public limited company registered in England and Wales, registration number 08616013, registered office at Steel City House, West Street, Sheffield, S1 2GQ. It is a development bank wholly owned by HM Government. British Business Bank plc and its subsidiaries are not banking institutions and do not operate as such. They are not authorised or regulated by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) or the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). A complete legal structure chart for the group can be found at www.british-business-bank.co.uk

[1] Figures as at 31 March 2021

[2] Figures as at 31 March 2021