The Business Growth Fund (BGF) is launching a new £200m venture capital fund for early stage tech UK companies, the organisation has announced.
The fund is to be run by a new, dedicated team based in London and will open for business in autumn 2015.
The initial team will be Rory Stirling and Harry Briggs, both of whom bring extensive venture experience from MMC Ventures and Balderton Capital respectively, and Simon Calver, former chief executive of LOVEFiLM.
BGF will provide £200m of investable capital as well as support from its established regional platform, meaning the team can focus on investing in Britain’s best entrepreneurial talent.
Harry Briggs has been both an entrepreneur and an investor. He co-founded Firefly Tonics, a health drinks company, which he built into a luxury brand with customers in 35 countries before selling to Private Equity firm Langholm Capital.
Prior to Firefly, Harry was at McKinsey & Co. in London and New York. He joins BGF from one of Europe’s leading Venture firms, Balderton Capital, where he initiated investments including The Hut Group, GoCardless, Lyst and Tictail.
Rory Stirling joins the team from MMC Ventures where he has been leading investments across the internet, mobile and software sectors. He became a Partner of MMC Ventures at the age of 29 and in 2014 was shortlisted for Investor of the Year at the Investor Allstar Awards.
Rory has been one of the most active venture capital investors in the UK; his investments include NewVoiceMedia, Pact, Masabi, Reevoo, Tyres on the Drive and Somo. Prior to MMC, Rory was an investment banker at Greenhill & Co. in London.
BGF chief executive Stephen Welton said the new team would bring “a strong mix of venture and entrepreneurial experience, with ambitions to unearth some of the most exciting UK technology companies of tomorrow”.
“With BGF’s extensive support network and £200m behind them, they have the financial firepower to quickly establish themselves as a major new ventures business,” he continued.
“BGF has become a game-changer in the UK in providing equity and long term capital for growing companies. We want to use our nationwide platform to extend our support to earlier stage businesses, especially in the technology sector, with a dedicated team, while our core business continues to focus on providing growth capital for small and mid-sized companies which has shown tremendous growth over the last 2 years.”
Further reading: Ideas Britain launches crowdfunding campaign