Longwall Ventures launches £40m tech financing fund


Longwall Ventures has launched a £40m technology fund backed by the UK Government, which hopes it will plug a gap in financing for small businesses.

The state committed £25m to Longwall Ventures Enterprise Capital Fund, which is the twelfth of its type to be launched in the UK, with the remaining £15m coming from private investors.

UK Business Minister Michael Fallon, pictured, announced the fund at the London Stock Exchange as part of an event to mark the last day of Global Entrepreneurship Week.

He said, “We are determined to make the UK the best place in Europe to start, finance and grow a business.”

“Helping entrepreneurs to access a diverse range of finance options is vital… the new £40m ECF will address a gap in the market and help our small businesses find the finance they need to realise their potential.”

Longwall partner Michael Penington said, “We are delighted to announce the launch of Longwall Ventures ECF and are excited about the opportunity we have to create strong companies from the UK’s excellent science and engineering base.

“Difficult economic times present opportunities for disruptive technologies, and we are very pleased to have investors that share that vision.

“The ECF programme has been crucial for us in attracting private investment and raising a fund that has the scale to commercialise such disruptive technologies.”

Oxford-based Longwall was founded by Penington, Matthew Frohn and David Denny last year to manage early stage venture funds.

The partnership currently manages the £30m Oxford Technology Enterprise Capital Fund.

In March this year that fund sold its stake in Meciria for £9.41m, well above its initial £1.48m cash investment.

Additional cash may be received over the next four years depending on Meciria’s future performance, the firm said.

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