Three West Midlands businesses included in latest update to the British Business Bank’s Future Fund

The West Midlands is home to three of the new inclusions; Apobec Discovery LTD, Equilibrium Markets Ltd and LightwaveRF PLC.

Today the British Business Bank publishes a list of 53 additional companies in which the Future Fund holds an equity stake, three of which reside in the West Midlands, taking the total to 515 as at end of December 2022.

Launched on 20 May 2020, and open for applications until 31 January 2021, the Future Fund issued 1,190 companies with Convertible Loan Agreements worth £1.14bn in total. Third-party investors were required to at least match the Future Fund’s investment.

Companies in which Future Fund is now a shareholder include Apobec Discovery LTD, based in Coventry is a biomedical research company focussing on cancer treatments primarily, Equilibrium Markets Ltd, based in Redditch is a food supply chain tech business and LightwaveRF PLC, based in Birmingham is a smart home automation company.

The Future Fund supported UK companies that typically rely on equity investment to fund their growth. By creating a bridge to the next equity funding round, the Future Fund supported these companies through a period of considerable economic disruption and now the recovery.

Ken Cooper, Managing Director, Venture Solutions, British Business Bank said: “The Future Fund was created to ensure a flow of capital, at the height of the pandemic, to companies that would otherwise have been unable to access government support schemes, while ensuring long-term value for the UK taxpayer. We are pleased to see so many of those companies now going on to raise further private sector capital, which will allow the Future Fund to benefit from their continued growth.”

As at end of December 2022, there were 515 convertible loans that converted into equity shares and in respect of which the Future Fund continues to hold an equity interest.

The scheme used a recognised financial instrument known as a convertible loan. Unlike an equity investment, there wasn’t a requirement under the convertible loan to value the company or the price of its shares, at a time when company valuations had been significantly impacted by Covid-19. Instead, the convertible loans are designed to convert into equity at the next equity funding round, converting at a discount to the price per share agreed between companies and investors in the funding round.

The British Business Bank will update the list of companies in which Future Fund has a shareholding at the end of each financial quarter – the full list is available here.
Further information on the Future Fund is available here.
On 6 July 2021 the British Business Bank published data giving a final, comprehensive picture of how the Future Fund has supported businesses during the pandemic. This is available here.