A venture capital firm is supporting various early-stage UK tech-based firms, including a sustainable travel business, with investment from retail investors.
Blackfinch Ventures, a division of Blackfinch Group, is investing £11 million into 17 UK companies, using funds partly raised through an enterprise investment scheme (EIS).
An EIS is a type of venture capital structure supported by the government which offers tax breaks for investors.
The firm says its focus is on “disruptive businesses, offering products that address real-world needs, with the capability to make an impact in global markets”.
Businesses invested in include Ride Tandem, which uses local transport providers to create networks that enable companies to get their staff to work.
Another firm, Tended, offers wearable technology to alert workers in industries such as rail and construction to dangers on their worksite.
Blackfinch also used its Blackfinch Spring Venture Capital Trust to raise some of the money.
Dr Reuben Wilcock (pictured), head of ventures at Blackfinch, said the investments were backing some of the UK’s “most talented founders” and their teams while also assembling well-diversified tech-led portfolios for a “growing number” of Blackfinch investors.
He continued: “This year’s investment activity builds on last year’s funding efforts, where we completed 12 deals. Many of those businesses demonstrated rapid growth in 2022 and received further investment as part of this latest round.”
Wilcock is an entrepreneur who won a British Gas Connected Homes award for a smart home energy spinout Joulo that was subsequently acquired by Quby. He has a PhD in integrated circuit design and is an inventor on five patents.
The Ventures team has invested £65 million across 35 companies since it was established in 2019. Blackfinch Group has around £700 million in assets under management.
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