Following the announcement of the Future Fund back in April, applications opened on Wednesday 20 May and are now available via the British Business Bank.

The Future Fund provides convertible loans worth between £125,000 and £5m each to high-growth tech start-ups that have been affected by Coronavirus and that meet strict eligibility criteria (below). The fund is geared towards those companies that typically rely on equity investment and that have been unable to access other COVID-19 support measures because they are either pre-revenue or pre-profit. If, however, an eligible company is already in receipt of other government support they may still apply to the Future Fund.

Eligibility

To be eligible, the company must:

  • have raised at least £250,000 in equity from third-party investors in previous funding rounds in the last five years (from 1 April 2015 to 19 April 2020, inclusive);
  • not trade any of its shares on a regulated market, a multilateral trading facility, a recognised investment exchange and/or any other similar market, stock exchange or listing venue;
  • be a UK incorporated limited company, incorporated on or before 31 December 2019;
  • be the parent company (if part of a corporate group);
  • be able to confirm that either at least half of employees are UK based OR at least half of revenues are from UK sales; and
  • confirm that the funding will not be used to (a) repay any borrowings; (b) pay any dividends; (c) pay any bonuses; (d) pay any advisory fees.

Application

The application is investor-led, which means an investor must submit an application in connection with a company. A company cannot apply direct.

About the loan

The British Business Bank has confirmed the following terms:

  • The loans will have a minimum of 8% per annum (non-compounding) interest charge applied. This interest will be higher if the company and the investor(s) agree between themselves. Unlike a typical bank loan, the interest is not payable on a monthly basis and instead will accrue until the loan converts. At this point, the interest will either be repaid or convert in equity.
  • The loan will mature after 36 months.
  • The loan cannot be repaid early by the company other than with the agreement of all of the investors.

If your business has been adversely affected by Coronavirus and you have questions about the support available, please contact our team.

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