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British Business Bank publishes updated list of 696 companies in which the Future Fund has an equity interest

Today the British Business Bank publishes a list of 44 additional companies in which the Future Fund holds an equity interest, taking total equity holdings to 696 as at 31 December 2023.

The rate of conversions in Q3 2023/4 was lower compared to the previous quarter, with 44 new equity interests. In contrast, the number of insolvencies this quarter was higher than the previous quarter, with 27 new insolvencies added. This sustained level of corporate activity is in part due to outstanding Future Fund loans nearing their three year maturity date. All of the companies with outstanding loans have been contacted to set out the options available to them. As at 12 January 2024, 97 loans have been extended by up to two years.

Companies in which the Future Fund now holds an equity interest include Liverpool-based Enteral Access Technologies, a medical device developer that provides clinicians with tools to safely place gastric feeding and decompression tubes; Belfast-based Cumulus Neuroscience that has developed an at-home, medical grade, flexible data collection and analytics platform to help solve challenges in monitoring functional brain health and brain disorders; and Mishipay, an RFID tag-based technology company that lets shoppers scan and pay for shopping with smartphones.

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 more 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.

Breakdown of the total portfolio as at 31 December 2023

As at 31 December 2023
(Original Loan Amount)

Previous Quarter

Change since previous quarter

Loans

260

(£242m)

329

-69

Equity interests

696

(£691m)

661

35

Cash realisations

62

(£53m)

55

7

Insolvencies

173

(£151m)

146

27

Total

1191

(£1,137m)

1191

* Up to 12 January 2024, 97 loans had been extended by up to two years. Of these, 9 loans subsequently changed category to “equity interest”, “cash realisation” or “insolvency”. This table shows the composition of the portfolio as at 31 December 2023.

Reconciliation of equity interests since last quarterly update

Total

Previous published number of equity interests

661

Companies removed from list of equity interests

-9

New conversions of loans into equity interests

44

Total

696

Explanatory notes:

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 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

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 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.

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 £12.4 billion ¹ of finance to more than 90,000 smaller businesses ².

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.

References:

¹ Figures as at the end of March 2023
² Figures as at the end of March 2023