SFC plans to invest £40m in over 100 early stage business following a £10m injection from British Business Bank.
The initiative comes just as start-ups that have not already raised £250,000 in investment find themselves excluded from the government’s new £500m Future Fund – ironically also run by the British Business Bank.
The bank’s money will be mixed with SFC’s own tax-efficient funds and cash from its network of over 500 angel investors.
SFC. which claims to be Britain’s most active seed stage investor, has already used some money to invest £5m into 28 companies between January and March, with £1.6m coming from bank subsidiary British Business Investments (BBI). Sectors invested in include healthcare and life sciences and new materials
BBI’s commitment is the second to be made through its regional angels programme, which tries to improve availability of seed funding in regions where such money is scarce.
Stephen Page, a former software entrepreneur, founded SFC in 2012 to try and help high-potential start-ups succeed and to help make angel investing more accessible.
To date, SFC has funded a portfolio of more than 200 companies with a combined value of over £1bn, including some of the UK’s fastest-growing companies such as Onfido, Screencloud and Cognism.
SFC has a track record of backing fast-growth regional businesses in parts of the UK where early stage investment capital is scarce, including Vortex IOT (Swansea), Transcend Packaging (Caerphilly, Wales), Petalite (Birmingham) and Intupod (Belfast).
In total, businesses backed by SFC Funds and the SFC Angel Network have created over 500 jobs outside of London. As part of its regional expansion, SFC is also opening a second office in Macclesfield to catalyse its regional investor base and to increase deal flow.
Catherine Lewis La Torre, CEO, British Business Investments, said: “Our Regional Angels Programme is designed to address imbalances in access to angel finance in the UK and to increase the overall amount of capital available to smaller businesses, through angel networks.”