Woodford IM, Legal & General Capital and BBB invest in digital funding platform

Property-Building-Growth-House-Housing-700x450.jpgLegal & General Capital (LGC), Woodford Investment Management and the British Business Bank have teamed up to invest in Accelerated Digital Ventures (ADV), a venture platform providing funding to digital businesses.

LGC says the investment will advance the institutionalisation of venture funding and “create a leading venture investment ecosystem across the UK”. The firm adds that infrastructure investment and a “thriving” digital venture investment industry can drive productivity and UK economic growth.

In the Autumn Statement Chancellor Philip Hammond announced that the Government will inject an additional £400m into venture capital funds through the British Business Bank, with £1bn of new finance for growing firms, as well as promising to launch a Treasury-led review of the barriers to accessing patient capital in the UK.

ADV is set to invest £150m in digital start-ups through its platform and aims to supply equity capital to help 1000s of business start-ups to become globally successful UK scale-ups. As well as providing patient capital for early stage businesses, ADV will also back growth and later stage businesses. Its long-term aim is to invest over £200m each year into UK-based start-ups and scale-ups.

Paul Stanworth, managing director, LGC, says: “The UK has faced chronic underinvestment in physical and digital infrastructure for far too long. If we are to capture and catapult the best of British enterprise more akin to Silicon Valley, we need early-stage capital support.”

Stanworth says LGC is “pooling patient capital” with Woodford Investment Management and the British Business Bank to back disruptive businesses and “fuel innovation” across the UK.

“Legal & General Capital is already regenerating towns and cities across the UK, backing clean energy projects, building much-needed homes and providing debt finance for UK SMEs. Now we are getting to the root of UK enterprise by supporting thousands of tech start-ups and growth businesses, creating jobs and boosting the economy.”

Lee Strafford, CEO of ADV, adds: “ADV has been established to help more of our emerging start-ups and scale-ups to scale big. There are world-class innovators in every corner of the UK. We intend to seek out the best investment opportunities at scale and ensure these companies, irrelevant of size and location, have the support they need to supercharge growth.”