As part of it`s support package for UK businesses during COVID-19, the Government have now launched, through the British Business Bank, a new initiative: Future Fund. This is aimed at helping businesses that regularly finance their operations through successive equity funding rounds (ie start-up TechCo`s).
- UK based businesses which have been operating for five years or more.
- The bridge funding must be used solely for working capital purposes and shall not be used by the company to repay any borrowings, make any dividends or bonus payments to staff, management, shareholders or consultants or pay any advisory or placement fees or bonuses to external advisers.
- The business must have previously raised at least £250,000 in equity investment from third party investors in the last five years.
- The bridge funding will automatically convert into equity on the company’s next qualifying funding round, at a minimum conversion discount of 20%.
- Loans ranging from £125k to £5m, subject to at least equal match funding from third party private investors.
- The Government shall be entitled to transfer the loan and following conversion of the loan, any of its shares without restriction to an institutional investor which is acquiring a portfolio of the Government’s interest in at least ten companies owned in respect of the Future Fund. In addition, the Government shall be entitled to transfer any of its shares without restriction within Government and to entities wholly owned by central government departments,’ according to the headline terms set out by the document co-issued by the Treasury and BEIS.
The funding will be not released until May 2020 and the Treasury admitted that full details of the scheme were not yet available, but that these ‘will be published in due course’.