The Government opened the £375m Future Fund: Breakthrough programme for applications yesterday. Under the scheme the Government will invest directly in companies alongside private investors.

This is clearly good news for growing companies, but the scheme is very targeted - early stage start-ups need not apply. The criteria include:

  • Minimum total investment round size of £30m
  • Businesses must have commitments of 70% of an investment round from private investors with a track record of financing innovative companies (e.g. VCs)
  • Companies must have raised at least £5m in previous funding rounds
  • Companies must be UK based with significant UK operations

The name of the programme echoes the Future Fund, launched by the government in March 2020. This ended up providing more than £1bn between over 1,000 businesses during the pandemic. This new scheme, however, is in practice likely to only benefit a handful of high growth, R&D intensive businesses.