Leading investor in creativity Edge Investments has raised £85m in its second venture fund, nearing its final close target of £100m.
Edge backs companies in the creative economy, and those that are pushing the boundaries of creativity in sectors such as edtech, virtual or augmented reality (AR / VR), adtech and content creation.
The British Business Bank, the cornerstone investor in the fund, has committed a further £50m through its Enterprise Capital Funds programme.
The programme aims to increase the supply of equity capital to high-potential, early-stage UK companies and lower barriers to entry for fund managers looking to operate in the VC market.
This is the second investment from the ECF programme to an Edge fund, following a £24m commitment in 2015 to Edge’s Edge Creative Enterprise Fund (ECEF).
The creative economy is one of the world’s fastest growing sectors, worth over $2.2 trillion globally, and comprising 11 per cent of the total UK economy.
Commenting on the launch of Create the Future, David Glick, chief executive, of Edge said: “Creativity, art, education and culture, enrich and improve the quality of all our lives through their consumption and enjoyment, and through the technological advancements they inspire.”
“If you don’t have social mobility, you don’t have civilisation. The creative economy is a great jobs engine, it rewards talent, grit and determination as much as academic brilliance. Edge’s role is important in providing a bridge between the creative economy – which suffers from a lack of access to finance – and private capital markets, in making a positive contribution to the overall wellbeing of society and in empowering social mobility.”
Ken Cooper, managing director, Venture Solutions, British Business Bank said: “The Bank’s Enterprise Capital Funds programme is key in helping to develop and maintain an effective venture capital provision in the UK, lowering the barriers to entry for emerging fund managers and for those targeting less well-served areas of the market.”
“By continuing our support of Edge and their second fund, we are helping to unlock successful financing and support of early stage, high-potential businesses operating in the creative economy.”