Barclays Launches £100m Growth Fund For UK Tech Firms

Bank will offer loans of up to £5m to fast-growing companies

The UK’s tech scene received a welcome boost today with the launch of a major new investment fund from Barclays.

The bank has announced it will be launching a new £100m fund today to help fast growing technology businesses progress and expand. Companies who have already secured sufficient venture capital could receive as much as £5m in loans, repayable over three years.

Barclays says the fund, will prove vital to support businesses right from their inception to becoming major global players. This type of lending has been available to US companies for some time, but this is the first time British businesses will be able to benefit.

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“This new fund offers a welcome boost to growing UK technology firms, and will provide a catalyst for their development into larger companies,” said Ashok Vaswani, chief executive of Barclays personal and corporate banking.

“Entrepreneurs and SMEs are the life blood of the UK economy and the technology sector is an incredible incubator for many of these talented individuals and businesses. The rapid growth we’ve seen in the UK rivals the activity and dynamism of Silicon Valley with record levels of investment from the US into London-based technology firms in particular.”

Such schemes helped provide fast early growth for American technology companies such as Facebook and Google, proving that this type of funding does work, Barclays added.

“We believe it is important for fast-growth technology companies in the UK to be able to access a similar range of financing solutions, including early-stage debt funding, which together with existing equity investment can provide businesses with a more efficient capital structure,” said Sean Duffy, managing director of Barclays’ technology, media and telecoms team.

The bank has a long history of investing in the British technology sector, being the first UK bank to introduce a dedicated Technology, Media and Telecoms team. Last month, it announced it would be investing £1.5m in Augmented Reality app Blippar to help further its development and roll-out of mobile AR and image-recognition technology.

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