British Business Bank helps new investment firm Oxx raise $100m fund to plug funding gap for small businesses

 
Lucy White
TOPSHOT-BELARUS-ANIMALS
Oxx will focus on the UK, the Nordics and Israel (Source: Getty)

New investment firm Oxx, which is aiming to plug the funding gap for smaller businesses falling through the gaps between venture capital and private equity, has raised $100m (£73.5m) for its first fund.

Oxx will focus its investment on business-to-business software companies in the UK, the Nordics and Israel.

British Business Investments, the commercial arm of the government-owned British Business Bank, was the largest single investor. Prominent individual investors included Hermann Hauser, the co-founder of venture capital firm Amadeus Capital, and Robert Easton, pro-vice-chancellor of Oxford University and a Carlyle private equity veteran.

Read more: Chancellor Philip Hammond launches consultation into funding the next UK unicorn startups

Money was also raised through crowdfunding platform Ourcrowd, and from a number of wealthy German and Nordic families.

"There is a clear funding gap known by entrepreneurs as the ‘valley of death’, which claims many promising scale-ups stuck between early-stage venture capital and maturity," said Oxx general partner Richard Anton.

"But these companies can bridge the gap and achieve explosive growth with the winning combination of capital and guidance from a hands-on investor with a deep understanding of the sector."

Read more: Former Iglu.com owner raises a new £205m investment fund as UK's lower mid market defies the Brexit gloom

Anton set up Oxx with Mikael Johnsson last year. Both were formerly at Amadeus Capital, which has invested in notable tech companies like Lastminute.com.

The fund is still open to further investment, but the "first close" will allow it to start putting cash to work.

Already Oxx has invested in Forescout Technologies, an internet-of-things security company which it helped list in the US last year and which now has a $1.5bn market value.

Read more: London's tech scene pulls in record £2.5bn in 2017 venture capital bonanza

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