Future Fund launches today: The government’s £500million scheme
The government’s Future Fund scheme will offer emergency support to UK startup companies that have been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The future fund, which opened for applications today, will offer UK-based startups loans of between £125,000 and £5m to support continued growth and innovation across sectors such as technology, life sciences and the creative industries.
The government is expected to take stakes in some of the UK’s most promising companies under the programme, which will allow bailout loans offered by the Treasury to be converted into equity.
So far, the government has made an initial £250 million available for investment through the scheme and will consider increasing this if needed.
Rishi Sunak told MPs on Monday that he would be “more than happy” to increase the available funds if demand outstripped the money primarily allocated.
“These companies provide the growth of tomorrow and they deserve our full support,” he said.
To be eligible for the loans, companies must have raised at least £250,000 in the last five years.
They will also need to have investors to provide funding to be matched by the government and have half or more of their employees based in the UK or generate at least half of their revenue through UK sales.
The loans will convert to equity if not repaid.
Oliver Dowden Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport said:
“The UK is a global tech and creative hub. We are an unashamedly pro-tech government and are supporting high-growth businesses through this challenging period so they can prosper and succeed.
The tech sector has played a crucial role throughout the pandemic and these innovative firms will be key to driving growth through our recovery.”
The Fund will be open until September and is delivered in partnership with the British Business Bank.
In addition to the Future Fund, Ministers have allocated £40 million through the Fast Start Competition to drive forward new technological advances, and to support innovative start-ups, including a virtual-reality surgical training simulator and an online farmers’ market platform. coronavirus crisis.