Britain is to expand a coronavirus bail-out scheme for startups to include those that had previously been blocked after moving overseas to tap foreign investors.
In a roll-out to be announced by chancellor Rishi Sunak today, the government will have stakes in dozens of UK startups through its Future Fund scheme.
The programme, initially announced last month, offers loans up to £5m that can convert into equity stakes in promising tech businesses that are struggling financially to make it through the lockdown.
The Treasury has announced that this will now by extended so as to allow a wider range of startups to join.
The Future Fund, which was delivered by the British Business Bank, will initially be open until the end of September.
As of 28 June, the fund has approved over £320.6m of convertible loans to 322 innovative businesses across the UK.
Read more: Coronavirus: The future fund needs a 2.0
“These changes to eligibility will allow a wider number of suitable companies to apply, while maintaining scheme protections against fraud and abuse and ensuring that the Future Fund continues to support economic activity in the UK,” the Treasury said.
To qualify, companies must have raised at least £250,000 in equity from third-party investors in previous funding rounds in the last five years.