British Business Bank publishes updated list of 529 companies in which the Future Fund has an equity interest
Today the British Business Bank publishes a list of 30 additional companies in which the Future Fund holds an equity interest taking the total to 529 as at 31 March 2023.
The level of conversions began to decline in Q4 2022/3 compared to the previous quarter, and conversions in January and February remained low but began to increase slightly in March. The number of administrations also began to grow in this quarter which in part was driven by the weakness in the wider UK market and the banking crisis.
Companies in which the Future Fund now holds an equity interest include Birmingham based Eyoto Group Limited, an optical manufacturer and university spinout from Aston University focused on lens inspection platforms and tele-optometry (remote eye care) platforms; Invicibles Studio Ltd, a mobile games developer based in Preston; and Northen Ireland based Skurio Limited, a digital risk protection platform that detects data breaches by monitoring the dark web. Whilst conversions remained lower in this quarter, 15 conversions took place in companies based outside of London.
Ken Cooper, Managing Director, Venture Solutions, British Business Bank said:
“The Future Fund was created to ensure a flow of capital, at the height of the pandemic, to companies that would otherwise have been unable to access government support schemes, while ensuring long-term value for the UK taxpayer. The Future Fund is now entering the maturity phase, which signals three years since the first loans were executed. This is likely to increase the level of transactional activity rapidly over the coming months.”
Launched on 20 May 2020, and open for applications until 31 January 2021, the Future Fund issued 1,190 companies with convertible loans worth £1.14 billion in total. Third-party investors were required to at least match the Future Fund’s investment.
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 either at the next equity funding round or if the company is acquired through a sale or IPO.
Breakdown of the total portfolio as at 31 March 2023
|As at 31 March 2023||Previous Quarter||Change since previous quarter|
Reconciliation of equity interests since last quarterly update
|Previous published number of equity interests||515|
|Companies removed from list of equity interests||-16|
|New conversions of loans into equity interests||30|
Loans: the number of Future Fund investments in the form of a convertible loan.
Equity interests: the number of Future Fund investments in the form of a share. These arise primarily as a result of a convertible loan converting into shares following a financing event. Equity interests also arise following a sale or an IPO in which investors, including Future Fund, receive share consideration in the form of shares in the acquiring entity.
Cash realisations: the number of Future Fund investments that have been realised for cash as a result of a company being acquired. Consequently, the Future Fund no longer holds an Equity Interest or a Loan in those companies.
Insolvencies: the number of Future Fund investments in respect of companies which have entered administration, liquidation or another formal insolvency process as disclosed in Companies House filings.
Please note that the original number of Future Fund investments increased from 1,190 to 1,191 as a result of a demerger of one company.
The British Business Bank will update the list of companies in which Future Fund has a shareholding at the end of each financial quarter.
Starting from this quarter, the British Business Bank will provide a list of companies which have entered Insolvency.
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.