BGF launches largest venture fund for UK businesses

The £200m fund will be run by a new, dedicated team based in London which BGF says will open for business in autumn 2015.

The initial team will be Rory Stirling and Harry Briggs, both of whom bring extensive venture experience from MMC Ventures and Balderton Capital respectively, and Simon Calver, former chief executive of LOVEFiLM.

BGF is an independent company with capital of up to £2.5 billion and is backed by five of the UK’s main banking groups – Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds, RBS and Standard Chartered. BGF is managed autonomously with an independent management team.

BGF will provide £200m of investable capital as well as support from its established regional platform, meaning the team can focus on investing in Britain’s best entrepreneurial talent.

Stephen Welton, chief executive of BGF said: “Harry, Simon and Rory bring a strong mix of venture and entrepreneurial experience, with ambitions to unearth some of the most exciting UK technology companies of tomorrow. With BGF’s extensive support network and £200m behind them, they have the financial firepower to quickly establish themselves as a major new ventures business.

“BGF has become a game-changer in the UK in providing equity and long term capital for growing companies. We want to use our nationwide platform to extend our support to earlier stage businesses, especially in the technology sector, with a dedicated team, while our core business continues to focus on providing growth capital for small and mid-sized companies which has shown tremendous growth over the last 2 years.”