British Business Investments, a commercial subsidiary of the British Business Bank, has committed £10m to Co-Investment Fund (Co-Fund) NI helping to provide growth capital to early stage, high potential smaller businesses in Northern Ireland.
The £10m commitment has been provided through British Business Investments Regional Angels Programme and is the programme’s first commitment in Northern Ireland. Invest Northern Ireland has also provided £6.1m towards the funding uplift.
The new £16m combined investment will support the programme’s objective to address regional imbalances and diversify the availability of angel finance.
Co-Fund NI is part of Invest NI’s Access to Finance suite of loan and equity funds. The fund can provide co-investment in deals typically valued between £150,000 and £2million.
Judith Hartley, CEO, British Business Investments, said: “Our Regional Angels Programme is designed to address imbalances in access to early-stage capital across the UK. This £10m commitment to Co-Fund NI is the programme’s first commitment in Northern Ireland and will help provide long-term capital to smaller businesses with high growth potential. To date British Business Investments has committed £65 million through the Regional Angels Programme, providing early-stage capital to over 100 high growth smaller businesses across the UK.”
Kevin Holland, Invest NI’s CEO, said: “Co-Fund NI is one of 5 funds in our Access to Finance portfolio. It specifically provides support to early stage, high potential start-up companies. This combined funding will have a significant impact on the Northern Ireland economy at a critical time for high growth potential SMEs.
“We have committed over £6million to increase the fund and provide more businesses with the opportunity to get their innovative ideas out of the starting blocks. By securing further funding from British Business Investments Co-Fund NI will be able to support more companies to achieve their goals. Investments have already begun, with £2.5million invested across six early-stage and existing Co-Fund NI portfolio companies; Concept Apps, Sustain IQ, Respiratory Analytics, Cirdan Imaging, Axial3D and B-Secur.”
Brian Cummings, Investment Director, Clarendon Fund Managers, said: “As we approach our 20th year of investing in Northern Ireland’s ‘high growth potential’ business community, we are delighted to build on Invest NI’s Co-Fund NI programme by welcoming BBI as a new investment partner. This allows us to make more funding available to co-invest alongside business angels and other private investors providing companies with a strong mix of funding and expertise to accelerate businesses growth.”
Invest NI’s support is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund under the Investment for Growth & Jobs Northern Ireland (2014-2020) Programme.