British Business Bank publishes updated list of 661 companies in which the Future Fund has an equity interest
Today the British Business Bank publishes a list of 75 additional companies in which the Future Fund holds an equity interest, taking total equity holdings to 661 as at 30 September 2023.
The rate of conversions in Q2 2023/4 remained consistent compared to the previous quarter, with 75 new additions. Similarly, the number of insolvencies this quarter continued at the same pace as the previous quarter, with 17 new insolvencies added. This sustained level of corporate activity is in part due to outstanding Future Fund loans nearing their three year maturity date. We continue to contact companies with outstanding loans to set out the options available to them. As at 23 October 2023, 65 loans have been extended by up to two years.
Companies in which the Future Fund now holds an equity interest include Wales-based Cross-Flow Energy Company Limited, a renewable energy technology company helping businesses across the world leverage the power of ‘small wind’ to support the roll-out of clean, reliable energy solutions; Micrima Limited, a spin-out from the University of Bristol that is on a mission to detect more instances of breast cancer at an earlier stage; and AstronauTx Limited, a biotech company spun out of University College London that is exploring new ways of treating Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases.
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. We are pleased to see so many of those companies now going on to raise further private sector capital, which will allow the Future Fund to benefit from their progress.”
Launched on 20 May 2020, and open for applications until 31 January 2021, the Future Fund issued 1,190 companies with convertible loans worth £1.14bn 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.
An independent year two assessment of the Future Fund has also been published, following a first early assessment published in 2022. The analysis focused on the contrast of the Future Fund portfolio against a counterfactual group, a group of comparable companies, to look at performance across metrics using secondary data. The assessment found evidence of positive impact of the Future Fund on fundraising, and comparison of valuation to sales data which suggests future growth expectations for portfolio companies may have improved relative to the counterfactual, although turnover growth, employment growth and survival prospects were cumulatively lower over 2021-2022. It also found some evidence that Future Fund portfolio companies had a strong focus on research and development activities, which could be impacting turnover and employment metrics. View the full assessment.
The assessment did not capture outliers in the Future Fund portfolio, companies which could drive future performance in the long term, and did not look at value-for-money metrics. It concluded that it was still too early to measure overall impact as the portfolio is still at an early-stage, and the period of partial data analysed meant some companies in the portfolio received funding later than others.
Breakdown of the total portfolio as at 30 September 2023
|As at 30 September 2023 (Original Loan Amount)||Previous Quarter||Change since previous quarter|
*As at 23 October 2023, 65 loans have been extended by up to two years.
Reconciliation of equity interests since last quarterly update
|Previous published number of equity interests||591|
|Companies removed from list of equity interests||-5|
|New conversions of loans into equity interests||75|
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 the Future Fund has an Equity Interest and the list of companies which have entered insolvency at the end of each financial quarter.
Further information on the Future Fund is available.
Notes to Editors
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 closed to new applications on 31 January 2021 and the last loans were issued in June 2021. The Future Fund provided UK-based companies with convertible loans on 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 the 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.
As well as increasing the supply and diversity of finance for UK smaller businesses through its programmes, the Bank works to raise awareness of finance options available to smaller businesses. The British Business Bank Finance Hub provides independent and impartial information to businesses about finance options, featuring short films, expert guides, checklists and articles from finance providers to help make their application a success.
The British Business Bank is also responsible for administering the government’s three Coronavirus loan schemes and its Future Fund, together responsible for delivering £80.4 billion in finance to 1.67 million businesses. These schemes are now closed to new applications.
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. Wholly owned by HM government, the Bank 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 the British Business Bank.