Five angel networks to lead £50 million fund

The five business angel networks that will participate in the UK government’s £50 million co-investment fund have been announced.

The partners of the successful consortium, Capital for Enterprise, are AIM-listed Braveheart Investment Group, Hotspur Capital Partners, Octopus Investments, Oxfordshire Investment Opportunity Network (OION) and Venrex Investment Management.

Capital for Enterprise was named as one of two national groups that will be awarded funding as part of the Regional Growth Fund’s £450 million first round, announced last week.

As part of the overall fund management, a Business Angel Co-Investment Fund (CoFund) will be established that aims to fill the gap in early-stage funding for high growth start-ups. Full details of the CoFund’s management have not been revealed, but early indications suggest the fund will match government money with investments from the five private angel networks.

The CoFund is expected to mirror the structure of the Scottish Co-investment Fund, which was launched in 2003.

Ken Cooper, managing director of equity investments at Capital for Enterprise, comments, ‘We are delighted that the consortium’s bid has been successful. It is an indication of the importance placed on business angels as a source of entrepreneurial capital and we are looking forward to working closely with the consortium partners to establish the fund.’

OION director Don McLaverty adds, ‘The small but crucial investment that angels provide, coupled with their valuable management experience, can make the difference between the success or failure of early-stage firms that are the key drivers of our economic growth.’

Geoffrey Thomson, chief executive of Braveheart, continues, ‘Whilst at £50 million this new fund is relatively modest in size, I expect it will have a strongly positive impact on the English market.’

Nick Britton

Nick Britton

Nick was the Managing Editor for when it was owned by Vitesse Media, before moving on to become Head of Investment Group and Editor at What Investment and thence to Head of Intermediary...

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