UK-based venture capital firm Sure Valley Ventures has completed an £85 million first close of a £95 million fund. It will support 25 early-stage British software startups in metaverse, AI and cybersecurity.
The UK government-owned but independent investment bank, British Business Bank provided £50 million to the fund via its Enterprise Capital Funds programme. The remaining £35 million came from new and existing private investors.
Established in 2016, the seed capital investor in software companies that are focused on bringing a disruptive innovation to market, will invest in 25 software companies from across the UK through its new fund. The first investment from the fund will be into a Belfast-based company, and the new office is expected to allow better access for Sure Valley’s team to proactively reach out to the creative and innovation clusters in Scotland and Northern Ireland.
Talking about scouting for startups beyond London, Barry Downes, co-founder and managing partner, Sure Valley Ventures said: “We will expand our existing London and Cambridge hubs, by opening a new office in Manchester. Many cities, including Manchester, as well as Leeds, Sheffield and Newcastle, have become dynamic tech hubs for startups. As entrepreneurs and founders ourselves, we have been on the other end of the table and therefore understand the challenges that start-ups face for funding. A local presence will ideally position us to execute on exciting deals in this region.”
Ken Cooper, managing director of venture solutions, British Business Bank said: “The British Business Bank’s Enterprise Capital Funds programme plays a significant role in developing and maintaining effective venture capital provision in the U.K., lowering the barriers to entry for emerging fund managers and for those targeting under-served areas of the market. Our cornerstone commitment to Sure Valley will support investment into high potential, early stage software companies that are leading change in the disruptive tech sector, across the UK.”
Minister for investment, Lord Gerry Grimstone, said: “The AI and immersive tech sectors are major British success stories and investments like this one by Sure Valley Ventures ensures that early-stage companies in the Northern Regions can access the funding necessary to help them compete at the forefront of global innovation.