The UK’s 20 most active EIS funds
Companies that are registered for EIS in the UK now have an array of funds they can reach out to. We’ve put together a list of 20 funds that have been active in the UK in the last year, looking at an array of sectors.
While sector focus differs amongst the list of funds we’ve compiled, they will be looking at companies that have already launched a product and have generated traction or revenue, with a strong, dedicated management team.
Side by Side
Side by Side will have its next deployment in November 2020, and they’re focusing on established companies with £1 – £10 million in revenue. The fund is managed by John Bailye, Founder and CEO of Dendrite (Nasdaq: DRTE), which was sold for $780m. The fund manager has over 40 corporate and private investments in his portfolio.
Perhaps the most diversified fund on this list, Access has a portfolio of over 50 companies in several sectors. Access, managed by SyndicateRoom, invests alongside super angels. Their list of success stories includes giants like Revolut (currently valued at $5.5bn), Horizon Discovery (IPO) and Magic Pony Technology (acquired by Twitter).
The Downing Ventures EIS fund specializes in SAAS, health technology and e-commerce companies. They’ve invested over £280m to date, and their portfolio is made up of 10-15 EIS qualifying companies at a time. Downing LLP handles VCT, EIS and IHT funds, managing more than £1 billion in assets.
Foresight Williams Technology EIS Fund
A partnership between the Foresight Group and Williams Engineering, this fund seeks to back ‘disruptive’ technology. The fund invests between £250k-2m in companies with experienced management teams, who can provide a sellable product 36 months after the initial investment. They have an eye out for companies that can address a market size of £100m+ and are aiming to deliver 10x on investment.
IW Capital looks to invest in established companies that have generated revenue. While sector-agnostic, they have previously invested in fintech and mobile apps. IW Capital has invested more than £58m to date, with initial investment being anywhere in the £500k – £2.5m range.
Imbiba Partners specializes in the UK leisure and hospitality market. The fund typically invests between £1m and £10m, and their extensive portfolio is made up of companies across the leisure sectors. They are likely to back pub, bar and restaurant businesses.
The Mercia EIS Fund (previously known as the Mercia Growth Fund) has invested in a number of technology businesses. Their portfolio is quite diversified, across seed, venture, MBO/MBI and property. The fund works closely with universities in the West Midlands: University of Birmingham, University of Warwick, Aston University, Birmingham City University, Coventry University, Keele University, Staffordshire University and University of Wolverhampton.
Nexus Investments, part of the Nexus group, looks at companies in the Data, Digital, Health and EdTech sectors. They prefer mission-driven founders and look to be closely involved in the business. Nexus offers mentorship and support, networking and investor relations services to its portfolio companies.
Deepbridge Life Sciences
As the name suggests, Deepbridge Life Sciences backs ventures in the biopharmaceuticals, biotechnology and medical technology sectors. They will therefore have a preference for companies with robust intellectual property plans that can revolutionise the markets they operate in.
EMV Capital Evergreen EIS Fund
EMV is interested in companies that operate in the Industrial high-tech, Energy, Resource efficiency & circular economy and Smart cities & connected transport sectors. They will also look at ventures that have developed innovative products in the AI & robotics, IoT, Electronics, Advanced engineering, Industrial chemistry, B2B tech enterprise software and Environmental sectors.
The First Sentinel EIS and Growth Fund provides equity and structured debt funding to SMEs. First Sentinel is a sector-agnostic fund looking at established companies that are post-revenue. They’re usually looking to invest between £200k and £2m in UK EIS registered companies.
Fuel Ventures is interested in scalable marketplaces, platforms, software (SaaS) and transaction technologies. They usually put in £250k to £2m, and have an eye out for scalable businesses with growth potential abroad. The fund provides mentorship and incubation support and requires founders to relocate to London for their incubator programme.
Fund Twenty8, out of Cambridge, typically invests between £50k and £250k. A very active fund, they make at least 28 investments per year. While the fund is sector agnostic, they prefer post-revenue companies with strong and established management teams.
The Parkwalk Opportunities EIS Fund backs knowledge-intensive scientific companies with defensible IP and great opportunity for growth. They can invest anywhere from £25k up to £5m and can provide the support founders need in the commercialisation of scientific discoveries.
Praetura Ventures, out of Manchester, has a diverse portfolio that includes ventures in the creative, digital and tech, financial, professional and business services, energy, environmental and health and life sciences sectors. They invest £1m – £3m in companies that can prove traction in a large or growing market. While interested in the whole of the UK, they have been most active in the North West of England.
Puma Investments specializes in the Real estate, Healthcare, Hospitality and leisure, Renewables, Retail and Manufacturing sectors. They look at established companies, with significant revenue and a need for expansion, and can offer both equity & debt deals to the tune of £2m to £10m.
Triple Point Impact EIS
Triple Point Impact EIS looks at post-revenue companies that can create significant social impact. Their preferred sectors are Education, Environment & Health. Where education is concerned, they prioritize ventures that can affect the lives of children and young people and affect inequality.
Unicorn Ascension Fund
The Unicorn Ascension Fund is a partnership between Unicorn India Ventures and Ascension Ventures. They provide £500k – £750k investments into companies that can penetrate the Indian market. So far, they’ve invested in the IoT, Hardware, Security, AI for logistics, FinTech, EdTech, MedTech, AgriTech, e-commerce and SaaS sectors. They may also co-invest in rounds of £1m – £3m.
Vala Capital is a fund led by entrepreneurs, who provide mentorship alongside funding. They specialize in ventures operating in the technology, engineering, fintech, media & entertainment, lifestyle brands, and food & beverages sectors.
West Hill Capital
West Hill Capital favors established businesses with potential recurring capital, and are willing to invest up to £15m. They prefer to be closely involved in the business, appointing non-executive directors where possible. West Hill has been involved in the Fintech, Manufacturing, Natural resources, Software, Biotechnology and Hospitality sectors.
Don’t know if you’re ready to contact a fund manager? At Envestors, we’ve advised dozens of companies on their deck and investment proposition. With and our newly launched investment readiness service, we can go over your business plan and put you in touch with investors.