The Future Fund opens

Yesterday, the Government opened up applications for the Future Fund and published more details on how it will operate. Our friends at Coadec sent over the following information.

The Future Fund will enable startups to access cash through a new convertible loan note program from the British Business Bank. The Government will match private investment on a 1:1 basis from a minimum of £125,000 to a maximum of £5 million.

You can find the details on the Future Fund for founders here and investors here. Coadec have compiled answers to some of the most asked questions below.

The fund opened yesterday (Wednesday 20th May) and will initially stay open until the end of September 2020.

Is your startup eligible?

To be eligible for matched funding, your startup must meet the following eligibility criteria:

  1. Raised at least £250,000 in equity from third-party investors in previous funding rounds in the last five years;

  2. If the company is a member of a corporate group, it must be the ultimate parent company;

  3. The company must be private and unlisted;

  4. The company must be a UK incorporated limited company;

  5. The company must have been incorporated on or before 31 December 2019; and at least one of the following must be true for the company:
    a. Half or more employees are UK based; and
    b. Half or more revenues are from UK sales.

You can read more on eligibility requirements here.

How do you apply?

Your Lead Investor will apply for the matched funding via a portal created by the British Business Bank. So if you’re looking to raise through the Future Fund and haven’t spoken to your investors yet, then you should do so as soon as possible. It won’t act as a ‘matchmaking’ scheme so you’ll need to have matched with an investor (or investors) before the Lead Investor submits an application.

Which investors are eligible to provide matching funding?

The Future Fund is open to a broad range of investors - including Angels, micro VCs & crowdfunders. There is a required investment of at least £12,500 for the Lead Investor, but there is no minimum investment requirement for other investors.

Are the Convertible Loans EIS/SEIS compatible?

No. Coadec are disappointed that the Future Fund has not been made an EIS compliant structure, and this was a key issue they have been pushing on since before the fund’s creation. The Treasury tried to get this over the line but unfortunately EU State Aid restrictions prevented them from doing so.

So what next?

There still needs to be solutions for companies that fall under the £250k minimum raise threshold. Whilst Coadec advocated for this to be £100k, and still think the Government should reconsider, they are hopeful that the Innovate UK grants and loans will provide a solution for this cohort of companies, including: R&D intensive startups and super-early stage companies.

If you have any questions or would like anything clarified then please do reach out to me on