Angel CoFund announces first five investments

Deals are worth a combined £7.2m


The Angel CoFund, a £50m investment vehicle backed by the UK government, has announced the closure of its first five investments, with an overall value of £7.2m.

As revealed by Growing Business on Tuesday, the CoFund has joined forces with Envestors, an investor network based in London, to back style-passport.com, an online women’s magazine aimed at fashion-conscious holidaymakers. In its first tranche of deals, the CoFund has also injected crucial growth capital into Phase Vision, a young Loughborough firm which provides industrial inspection tools for the aerospace, nuclear and automotive industries, and Future Drinks, a Bristol company whose healthy soft drinks will make their retail debut this summer. The first wave of beneficiaries is completed by PlayJam, a London-based company specialising in social gaming for internet-enabled TVs, and Enval, a Cambridge University spin-out which builds commercial facilities for the recovery of aluminium from waste. Each business has received between £360,000 and £3.6m of investment. The government has provided £1.4m of the initial funding, with the remaining £5.8m coming from private angel investors within the CoFund network. The CoFund project, which launched last November with a grant from the Regional Growth Fund, has already received the backing of a series of angel networks, including Braveheart Investment Group plc, Octopus Investments and DFJ Esprit. The CoFund plans to invest at least £70m alongside its angel partners over the next decade, with the aim of stimulating small to medium-sized companies with high growth potential. Announcing the first raft of deals, business and enterprise minister Mark Prisk said: “Business angels play a crucial role in supporting new and growing businesses, and the Angel CoFund is helping small firms get the vital funding they need. “The variety of businesses that are receiving this funding reveals the range of skills and exciting opportunities that are being created today. It is absolutely critical that ambitious small firms can access the finance that they need to expand and grow.” “I am delighted to confirm today that five investments, totalling £7.2 million, have been made. The Angel CoFund demonstrates the support that the government can play in partnership with the UK’s leading business angels, to enable business growth and job creation.”

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