The £50 million government-backed Angel CoFund has made its first five investments, with £7.2 million being handed out to the successful companies.
Investment vehicle the Angel CoFund, created with a grant from the Regional Growth Fund, has closed its first deals, six months after its formation.
The fund, which invests alongside syndicates of business angels, is hoping to increase the quality and quantity of business angel investing in the UK.
Those businesses receiving a portion of the £50 million fund include industrial inspection company Phase Vision, London-based women’s online magazine and e-store style.passport.com and healthy beverage business Future Drinks.
Also receiving angel backing is PlayJam, a London-headquartered online games aggregator and Luton-based Engal, which uses technology developed at Cambridge University to build commercial facilities for recovering aluminium from waste laminated packaging.
According to the Angel CoFund, it expects to invest upwards of £70 million alongside business angels in the next 10 years, with many of the participating high net worth individuals taking roles in the invested businesses.
While the size of the five new deals is undisclosed, the set-up of the fund means that equity investments of between £100,000 and £1 million are available. The fund is not open to direct approaches form specific companies, with those interested encouraged to secure interest from the business angel syndicate or network.
Mark Prisk, business and enterprise minister, comments, ‘Business angels play a crucial role in supporting new and growing businesses, and the Angel CoFund is helping small firms get the vital funding they need.’
‘The variety of businesses that are receiving this funding reveals the range of skills and exciting opportunities that are being created today. It is absolutely critical that ambitious small firms can access the finance that they need to expand and grow.’
The Angel CoFund was formed by a consortium of business angel organisations such as Braveheart Investment Group, Hotspur Capital Partners, Octopus Investments and Capital for Enterprise.
Rory Earley, CEO of Capital for Enterprise, adds, ‘The Angel CoFund enables us to work alongside some really high quality people, including successful entrepreneurs, in order to deliver the funding that is so essential to developing high growth businesses.’