Coutts and BGF raise £80m to back entrepreneurs in UK
By Gloria Methri
Coutts, the private banking arm of NatWest Group, and the Business Growth Fund (BGF) have raised over £80 million through the UK Enterprise Fund (UKEF). This provides the bank’s client base with access to investment opportunities in privately-owned scaleups and early-stage businesses, as part of BGF’s nationwide platform.
The UKEF fund launched in June last year with £40 million of committed capital. A further £40 million has now been raised through the close of its second funding round from Coutts.
The additional funding means more capital for BGF to invest in start-ups, adding to the £2.5 billion on its balance sheet. BGF typically invests between £2 to £15 million and takes a minority shareholding in the companies it backs.
Andy Gregory, CEO of BGF, said, “By its nature, UKEF is an innovative and highly differentiated offering in equity investing. Through UKEF, Coutts’ clients can increase their exposure to privately-held UK companies, whilst benefiting from the due diligence, robust governance, and skilled investment expertise that comes with the BGF platform.
“Whilst we are acutely aware of the current macro-economic environment for businesses and investors, BGF’s long-term model provides us with the economic means and mindset to view investments and exits from a longer-term horizon, which has proved highly attractive to UKEF investors and indeed to the diverse set of scaleup companies that we continue to back.”
Alison Rose, CEO of NatWest, said, “We are highly encouraged by the continued appetite amongst UKEF investors to support high-potential businesses and those with diverse founders.
“Funding vehicles like UKEF can have a game-changing impact, especially as current economic conditions are making it harder for high-potential companies to access the resources required to scale. We are now excited to see what a new cohort of dynamic and diverse businesses receiving backing from the next round of UKEF funding can achieve.”
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