Michelle Mone and Doug Barrowman launch VC firm to back bio and tech start-ups

Equi will give members of the public a chance to invest in hand-selected early-stage high-growth tech companies via its own cryptocurrency

Michelle Mone OBE, the founder of global lingerie brand Ultimo, and her billionaire business partner Doug Barrowman have launched a new venture capital (VC) firm to allow the public invest in high-growth start-ups.

Hoping to raise $125m (£89m) from investors for Equi, the duo have also announced their “initial coin offering”, or ICO, as they launch their own brand of cryptocurrency called “Equi Tokens” – which they’ll sell to fund the further development their platform.

Worth 50 cents each, holders will be able to either trade Equi Tokens on the platform, invest them in businesses or keep them and gain 5% from any investments.

With a focus on bio and tech start-ups, all businesses will be hand-picked by a team of established venture capitalists, led by Doug Barrowman – who himself has over 30 years’ experience in investing in companies.

Once on the EQUI platform, resident start-ups will receive guidance from Mone and Barrowman.

Barrowman said:

“EQUI brings venture capital investing into the modern technological era and opens the investment playing-field up to non-industry professionals, enabling them to back the next hot investment that is traditionally the preserve of institutions and ultra-high net worth individuals.

“We have strong access to deal flow and the investment market generally and will be bringing our experience to the wider market.

“Once in a generation a new way of thinking disrupts the workings of an established industry. EQUI is that disruptor in venture capital investing and, for me, represents the final evolution of a lifetime’s work spent in the industry.”

Mone said:

“EQUI will find the next generation of successful entrepreneurs and help to build the business success stories of tomorrow, primarily in the areas of technology and blockchain.

“EQUI will source the best investment opportunities in real world assets and champion innovators. We will support them by providing extensive business knowledge, enabling businesses to reach their full potential.”