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Edge Investments’ first-close at £85 million of target £100m to invest in the creative economy

Create the Future backs category leaders in the creative economy to drive social mobility

Edge Investments – a leading investor in the future of creativity – has raised £85m in its second venture fund; Edge’s Create the Future is targeting a final close at £100 million.

The British Business Bank, the cornerstone investor in the fund, has committed £50m through its Enterprise Capital Funds programme, which aims to increase the supply of equity capital to high-potential, early-stage UK companies and lower barriers to entry for fund managers looking to operate in the VC market. This is the second investment from the ECF programme to an Edge fund, following a £24m commitment in 2015 to Edge’s Edge Creative Enterprise Fund (ECEF).

The creative economy is one of the world’s fastest growing sectors, worth over $2.2tn globally, and comprising 11% of the total UK economy. By recognising talent beyond academic achievement, the creative economy enfranchises social mobility and wealth generation across socio-economic boundaries.

Edge’s Create the Future has attracted investment from a stellar group of entrepreneurs, business and creative leaders who have a deep understanding of technology and intellectual property. Investors include Tim Steiner, Founder of Ocado plc, sports and outdoor brand powerhouse Pentland Group, leading independent live music promoter Simon Moran, “Paw Patrol” and “Bob the Builder” creator Keith Chapman, musician Gavin Rossdale, former CVC managing partner Jonathan Feuer, former AirBnB Head of Creative James Goode, Google/YouTube International Head of Kids, Family & Education Greg Dray, Snap France co-founder Emmanuel Durand, former BILD Editor-in-Chief Tanit Koch, Edtech specialist Andrew Brode, Ben Mawson and Ed Millett, the founders of Tap Music, the company appointed to find the next UK Eurovision Song Contest entry and ITV chairman Sir Peter Bazalgette.

Edge backs companies led by exceptional management teams with ambition to become global category leaders. Edge’s Create the Future will invest in businesses in the creative economy, companies pushing the boundaries of creativity in sectors such as edtech, virtual / augmented reality (AR / VR), adtech, content creation and distribution. It is investing primarily in early-stage businesses which have established product market fit, making initial investments of between £1 – £5 million and following its investment to help drive growth in those companies

Edge was founded by David Glick. The investment team is led by Simon Andrews. Fundraising was led by David Fisher.

Commenting on the launch of Create the Future, David Glick, CEO, Edge Investments said: “Creativity, art, education and culture, enrich and improve the quality of all our lives through their consumption and enjoyment, and through the technological advancements they inspire.

If you don’t have social mobility, you don’t have civilisation. The creative economy is a great jobs engine, it rewards talent, grit and determination as much as academic brilliance. Edge’s role is important in providing a bridge between the creative economy – which suffers from a lack of access to finance and private capital markets, in making a positive contribution to the overall wellbeing of society and in empowering social mobility.”

Simon Andrews, Chief Investment Officer, Edge Investments said:

“The creative economy is one of the fastest growing economic sectors, yet deep expertise in investing in creative businesses is lacking, and the conventional tools of venture capital fail to appreciate their true value. The Edge team has decades of experience as investors, advisors and operators in the creative economy that allows us to identify the most exciting companies in the sector and help them to deliver on their growth potential.”

Ken Cooper, Managing Director, Venture Solutions, British Business Bank said:

“The Bank’s Enterprise Capital Funds programme is key in helping to develop and maintain an effective venture capital provision in the UK, lowering the barriers to entry for emerging fund managers and for those targeting less well-served areas of the market. By continuing our support of Edge and their second fund, we are helping to unlock successful financing and support of early stage, high-potential businesses operating in the creative economy.”

Edge launched its first fund in 2016 and has backed some of the most promising companies in the creative economy for the past six years. Its portfolio includes: social content producer Jungle Creations, audio advertising personalisation company A Million Ads, online video news community and marketplace Newsflare, and global esports network BLAST.

Further Information

Suzanna Jebbitt
Senior Communications Manager
t. +44 (0)20 7898 5829
m.+44 (0)7827 552301
e. suzanna.jebbitt@british-business-bank.co.uk

Lily Wiggins
t. (07432 022 460)
Andrew Malone
t. (07515 671 782)
e. edge@fieldhouseassociates.com

Notes to Editors

About Edge Investments

Edge invests in creativity, serving as the bridge between creative entrepreneurs who are under-serviced by the world of finance. Edge provides forward-thinking investors with the opportunity to put their financial capital – alongside Edge’s intellectual capital and our own financial capital – behind some of the best entrepreneurs in this sector which accounts for nearly 11% of the whole economy.

Visit website: edge.vc– opens in new window

About 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 british-business-bank.co.uk.

The funding from British Business Bank to Edge Investments does not amount to any endorsement or warranty from the British Business Bank plc, or the government of the UK.

Enterprise Capital Funds are administered by British Business Finance Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of British Business Bank plc.

[1] Figures as at 31 March 2021
[2] Figures as at 31 March 2021