Sussex Place Ventures, the London Business School’s fund management company, has launched a £30m venture capital fund to back early stage technology companies in the UK.
Two thirds of the fund has been committed by the UK Government’s British Business Bank through its Enterprise Capital Fund programme, with a matching £10m from private investors, excited technology entrepreneurs, business angels and London Business School alumni.
The Fund, Regents Park Partners II ECF LP, will invest at an early stage in software companies, in businesses developing technology with strong patent-protectable intellectual property and in internet businesses.
Sussex Place Ventures will invest alone and in syndicates. The fund manager will use its close ties with alumni of the London Business School and entrepreneurs in its network to help with due diligence prior to investing, to help it add value to portfolio companies after it has invested and as a source of qualified deal flow.
“We expect to be able to leverage our trusted network and bring valuable sector and execution skills to bear for the benefit of our portfolio companies and our investors,” said Richard Gourlay, Managing Partner of Sussex Place Ventures.
The British Business Bank’s ECF programme now consists of 16 Funds with total investment capacity of over £530m. Its aim is to encourage risk capital investment in UK SMEs.
Ken Cooper, British Business Bank’s Managing Director, Venture Capital Solutions, said:
“Our VC solutions, such as the Enterprise Capital Funds, help to create investment capacity to back innovative high growth businesses that would otherwise face a funding gap. The Sussex Place Ventures team has a good track record in making such early-stage investments, and we are delighted to be able to back them with an investment in this new ECF Fund.”
Sussex Place Ventures has unusual access to the alumni base of London Business School, now numbering more than 37,000 individuals. It is owned by London Business School and reserves some of the fund profits for the School.
"Sussex Place Ventures' new fund is another example of how London Business School is involved in practice as well as teaching and learning,” said Sir Andrew Likierman, Dean of London Business School. “Our alumni element is an essential part of the concept and we value their involvement, which also helps with our growing entrepreneurship activities."