The UK taxpayer is the latest shareholder in the female-led sextech firm Killing Kittens after the UK government’s backing under a pandemic innovation programme.
The company is best known as an adult-only social network and hosts members-only events across the world.
Killing Kittens has received support from Rishi Sunak’s Future Fund, which was designed to support largely in-person companies stay afloat during the pandemic.
The firm itself is a brainchild of The Duchess of Cambridge’s former school mate Emma Sayle, and is valued at around £16m, raising an estimated £1m in its latest round.
It is understood that this funding will go towards a sprint growth year, focused on cracking the US market, which has been in the works since 2020.
A key part of the initiative is to ensure that the UK Treasury have equity in the company’s fundraising. It is understood that the government pumped in an estimated £170k and have an estimated 1.77 per cent of Killing Kitten shares.
Labour MP and former shadow minister for women and equalities Sarah Champion criticised Killing Kittens involvement with the scheme back in 2020, urging the chancellor to “take steps to stop payments” to the company, which has been accused of hosting sex parties for society’s most elite.
Killing Kittens’s founder Sayle pushed back against this claim, urging the MP to do her research, adding: “Had it been a 60-year-old male MP, I’d have expected it, because that’s the kind of trolling I have had on social media for 15 years.
“I didn’t expect it from someone who claims to champion women’s rights.”
At 31 March 2022, 337 convertible loans had converted into equity shares, in respect of which the Future Fund continues to hold an equity interest, meaning the companies have successfully raised further private sector capital through an equity funding round.