NEWS & MEDIA
Investment in Sure Valley UK Software Tech Fund2 March 2022
Sure Ventures plc (‘Sure Ventures’ or ‘the Company’)
Investment in Sure Valley Ventures UK Software Technology Fund Alongside the British Business Bank
Sure Ventures plc, a London listed venture capital fund which invests in early stage software companies in the rapidly growing technology areas of Augmented Reality (‘AR’), Virtual Reality (‘VR’), Internet of Things (‘IoT’) and Artificial Intelligence (AI), is pleased to announce that it has agreed to invest, alongside the British Business Bank (“BBB”), in a new venture capital fund, the Sure Valley Ventures UK Software Technology Fund (the “New SVV Fund”).
- The principal investor in the New SVV Fund is the British Business Bank, an investment arm of the UK Government. The first close of this fund will amount to £85 million, with the BBB investing up to £50 million and other investors (“Private Investors”), including Sure Ventures PLC, investing up to £35 million over the 10-year life of the fund.
- The New SVV Fund will invest in a range of private UK software companies with a focus on companies in the Immersive Technology and Metaverse sectors, including Augmented and Virtual Reality, Artificial Intelligence, the Internet of Things and Security.
- Sure Ventures PLC, will initially be investing circa £90,000, in the New SVV Fund on first close in order to fund the New SVV Fund’s first investment which has already been identified. It expects to invest up to £5 million in total over the life of the New SVV Fund which would equate to a circa 5.9% interest.
- The New SVV Fund will be managed by the same Sure Valley Ventures fund (“SVV”) team which, to date, has been highly successful in achieving a number of cash realisations from, and upward revaluations of, companies in the SVV portfolio.
- The profit share arrangements within the New SVV Fund are designed to encourage the involvement of Private Investors alongside the BBB, meaning that Sure Ventures PLC and the other Private Investors would expect to receive a significantly enhanced profit share of the total return generated by the fund compared to industry standard.
- This investment will enable Sure Ventures PLC shareholders to gain exposure to exciting, fast growing venture capital investments through a listed company structure with the expectation of an enhanced return which would otherwise be difficult for such investors to achieve.
- The Company has several sources available to fund this investment over the coming years. These would include a combination of potential realisations from SVV Fund 1, an Equity Subscription Agreement and Loan Agreement, funds from future subscriptions and receipts generated from any sales of listed investments.
Comment from Gareth Burchell
“Given the market conditions, raising £35m privately and attracting investment from an organisation such as the British Business Bank is testament to the success and talent of the Sure Valley Ventures team.
The Board recognise this is a very attractive investment opportunity for shareholders in Sure Ventures given that the New SVV Fund is a larger size than SVV Fund 1 which will allow for a more diverse investment portfolio and the structure of the new fund provides for enhanced returns to investors, when compared to the more traditional structure of SVV Fund 1. The existing team from SVV will continue to manage the new fund having demonstrated a proven track record from the returns to date achieved from managing SVV Fund 1.
Fund 2 has been created as part of the BBB’s Enterprise Capital Funds programme that only accepts a very limited number of fund managers on to the programme, so this is a clear validation of the quality of the investment team at SVV”
The British Business Bank (BBB) and Enterprise Capital Funds
The BBB is the largest domestic backer of venture capital funds in the UK. Established in 2006, the Enterprise Capital Funds (“ECF”) programme helps those looking to operate in the UK market to raise venture capital funds specifically targeting early-stage small businesses believed to have long-term growth potential.
The ECF programme combines private and public money to make equity investments into high growth businesses. The aim is to increase the supply of equity to UK growth companies and to lower the barriers to entry for fund managers looking to operate in the venture capital market. The BBB’s ECF programme only accepts a very limited number of fund managers on to its programme i.e. some 24 fund management groups over the last 16 years since the programme started in 2006.
The BBB specifically invests alongside venture capital funds on terms which improve the outcome for the co-investors. The reason for this clear advantage is simply to encourage venture capital funds to operate in a part of the market where smaller businesses may not be able to access the growth capital they need.
Other well-known fund managers that have been involved with the BBB ECF programme include Dawn Capital, Notion Capital, Amadeus Capital Partners, IQ Capital, and Episode 1.
Details of the New SVV Fund
The New SVV Fund is expected to complete its first close with total investment commitments of £85 million, of which £50 million will be invested by the BBB with the balance of £35 million coming from Private Investors, including financial institutions and family offices. The total investment may, however, increase to £95 million, with the Private Investors investing up to £45 million. Sure Ventures PLC’s investment allocation of £5 million will, however, not be required to increase in these circumstances.
Sure Ventures PLC’s investment commitment over the life of the New SVV Fund will be drawn down in tranches as and when funds are required for investment over the 10 year life of the fund. However, as is similar to the existing SVV fund, any realisations of its investments will be distributed to investors at the time of realisation (as is common with funds of this nature) therefore the return on this investment is expected to be received throughout the life of the fund.
The New SVV Fund will invest in a range of private UK software companies with a focus on companies in the Immersive Technology and Metaverse sectors, including Augmented and Virtual Reality, Artificial Intelligence, the Internet of Things and Security and is aligned with Sure Ventures PLC’s investment strategy.
The Sure Valley Ventures UK Software Technology Fund has been created under the partnership, Sure Valley Ventures Enterprise Capital LP (“Partnership”). The Partnership has been constituted under an agreement between Sure Valley General Partner Limited (“GP”) and Sure Valley Ventures Founder LLP (“FP”) to carry on the business of an investor and, in particular, of identifying, negotiating, making, monitoring and realising investments and to carry out all functions and acts in connection therewith.
Shard Capital AIFM LLP has been selected by the GP to act as the Alternative Investment Fund Manager (AIFM) of the Partnership and has been appointed by the Partnership to (i) admit Investors to the Partnership and thereafter to operate the Partnership and manage its investments, and (ii) act as Alternative Investment Fund Manager (as defined in the AIFMD) to the Partnership.
The role of Sure Valley Ventures Limited shall include sourcing investors and deal flow for the Partnership, advising the Manager on making investments, and arranging deals in investments for the Partnership. If Sure Valley Ventures Limited or another Associate of the General Partner becomes an Authorised Person permitted under FSMA to act as Manager of the Partnership, it is intended that Sure Valley Ventures Limited or its Associate (as applicable) shall be appointed as AIFM of the Partnership.
This announcement contains inside information for the purposes of the UK Market Abuse Regulation and the Directors of the Company are responsible for the release of this announcement.
Enquiries: Sure Ventures PLC
Gareth Burchell: Director – 0207 186 9951
Corporate Broker: Damon heath
Shard Capital: 0207 186 9952