Barclays launches £100m fast-growth technology fund
Fund to lend up to £5m to "innovative" UK tech businesses with the debt finance repayable over three years
Barclays is launching the UK’s first £100m fund to help fast growing technology firms accelerate to the next level.
The fund will lend up to £5m to Britain’s most innovative technology businesses, repayable over three years. Previously this type of finance has only been available to US firms, allowing them to grow more rapidly than their UK counterparts.
The bank claims that debt finance, as an alternative to selling equity, is more beneficial to tech firms which develop much faster than the average time it takes for traditional businesses go from start-up to large corporate – typically 15 years. In this way entrepreneurs are able to retain more shares and control of their companies to focus on growth.
According to a recent report by Barclays, UK tech businesses are predicted to grow four times faster than GDP this year.
Launching the fund during a visit to technology firms in Cambridge, chief executive of Barclays personal and corporate banking, Ashok Vaswani, said: “This new fund offers a welcome boost to growing UK technology firms, and will provide a catalyst for their development into larger companies.
“Entrepreneurs and small businesses are the life blood of the UK economy and the technology sector is an incredible incubator for many of these talented individuals and businesses. The rapid growth we’ve seen in the UK rivals the activity and dynamism of Silicon Valley with record levels of investment from the US into London-based technology firms in particular.”