Edge Investments holds £85m in the first close of its second venture fund.
Edge’s Create the Future fund is targeting a final close at £100m.
Create the Future will invest in businesses in the creative economy as well as companies push the boundaries of creativity in education tech (edtech), augmented and virtual 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 – £5m and following its investment to help encourage growth in those companies.
The British Business Bank – the cornerstone investor in the fund – put £50m in through its Enterprise Capital Funds programme, which aims to increase the supply of equity capital to early-stage high-potential businesses and lowering barriers to entry for fund managers who want to operate in the VC market. This is the second investment from the British Business Bank’s programme going to Edge, following a £24m commitment in 2015 to Edge’s Creative Enterprise Fund (ECEF).
Edge’s Create the Future has attracted investment from high status entrepreneurs, business groups and creative leaders such as:
- Ocado founder, Tim Steiner
- ITV chairman, Sir Peter Bazalgette
- Paw Patrol and Bob the Builder creator, Keith Chapman
- AirBnB’s former head of creative, James Goode
The creative economy is said to be one of the world’s fastest growing sectors, worth over $2.2trn globally. What’s more, it makes up 11 per cent of the UK’s total economy.
Commenting on the launch of Create the Future, David Glick, CEO of 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.”