Future Fund popularity continues to rise

Published on
2 min read

The statistics speak for themselves as to the popularity of the Future Fund so far - £320.6 million worth of convertible loans had been approved for 322 companies. This popularity is only set to continue to rise with the extension of the scheme to include companies that participate in accelerator programmes based outside the UK.

When the Future Fund launched on 20 May, the eligibility criteria required the borrowing company to be a UK incorporated limited company.  This was extended yesterday to include a non-UK parent company of a corporate group that was incorporated solely in order to participate in an accelerator programme.   

The Business Secretary, Alok Sharma, commented: “Our decision to relax this rule recognises the importance of many of the UK’s most cutting-edge start-ups as we bounce back from coronavirus.”

The full eligibility criteria for these companies can be found here. These entities are still required to meet the ‘substantive economic presence’ test (that half or more employees are UK-based and/or half or more revenues are from UK sales) and must be the equivalent of a UK limited company and have participated in an accelerator programme, and received investment from such programme, on or before 19 April 2020.

It is expected that a more thorough assessment will be made of applications by these non-UK companies to ensure parity with UK investment standards and the accountability of the use of public funds.  This will undoubtedly extend the timeframe for approval, and whilst the Government has confirmed that the extent of the fund is being kept under review, and we’ve seen such willingness in the increase from the initial figure of £250 million, any companies looking to take advantage of this new extension should act quickly.

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