London Business School Fund Management Company raises £30m fund for UK technology companies under British Business Bank scheme

Sussex Place Ventures, the London Business School’s fund management company, has launched a £30m venture capital fund to back early stage technology companies in the UK.

Two thirds of the fund has been committed by the UK Government’s British Business Bank through its Enterprise Capital Fund programme, with a matching £10m from private investors, exited technology entrepreneurs, business angels and London Business School alumni.

The Fund, Regents Park Partners II ECF LP, will invest at an early stage in software companies, in businesses developing technology with strong patent-protectable intellectual property and in internet businesses.

Sussex Place Ventures will invest alone and in syndicates. The fund manager will use its close ties with alumni of the London Business School and entrepreneurs in its network to help with due diligence prior to investing, to help it add value to portfolio companies after it has invested and as a source of qualified deal flow.

The British Business Bank’s ECF programme now consists of 16 Funds with total investment capacity of over £530m. Its aim is to encourage risk capital investment in UK SMEs.


Richard Gourlay, Managing Partner of Sussex Place Ventures, said:

“We expect to be able to leverage our trusted network and bring valuable sector and execution skills to bear for the benefit of our portfolio companies and our investors.”


Ken Cooper, British Business Bank’s Managing Director, Venture Capital Solutions, said:

“Our VC solutions, such as the Enterprise Capital Funds, help to create investment capacity to back innovative high growth businesses that would otherwise face a funding gap.  The Sussex Place Ventures team has a good track record in making such early-stage investments, and we are delighted to be able to back them with an investment in this new ECF Fund.”


Sussex Place Ventures has unusual access to the alumni base of London Business School, now numbering more than 37,000 individuals. It is owned by London Business School and reserves some of the fund profits for the School. “Sussex Place Ventures’ new fund is another example of how London Business School is involved in practice as well as teaching and learning,” said Sir Andrew Likierman, Dean of London Business School. “Our alumni element is an essential part of the concept and we value their involvement, which also helps with our growing entrepreneurship activities.”


About Sussex Place Ventures

Sussex Place Ventures was formed in 1998 in support of London Business School’s entrepreneurship programmes – primarily at that time teaching and research focused. It has subsequently widened its remit and invests anywhere in the UK with the single goal of achieving a commercial return for investors.

The Business School receives a share of Fund profits. Barnaby Terry is Joint Managing Partner, John Mark Brimacombe is Operating Partner and Ivan Shyr is Investment Director at Sussex Place Ventures.


About London Business School

London Business School’s vision is to have a profound impact on the way the world does business. The School is consistently ranked in the global top 10 for its programmes and research.

As well as its top-ranked full-time MBA*, the School offers degree and executive education programmes serving early and later career managers from around the world. Its entrepreneurship programmes are highly rated.

Teaching and research faculty come from more than 30 countries and students come from more than 100 countries, making London Business School exceptionally international.

* 2013 Forbes international MBA ranking, 2012 Bloomberg BusinessWeek international MBA ranking and Financial Times MBA 2009, 2010 and 2011 rankings


About the British Business Bank and Enterprise Capital Funds

The British Business Bank’s strategic intent is to ensure that finance markets for small and medium-sized businesses work effectively, allowing them to prosper, grow and build UK economic activity. It is a key element of the Government’s Industrial Strategy, and its programme is already contributing to making the UK the best place in Europe to start, grow and finance a business.

The British Business Bank programme is currently run directly by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and is not authorised or regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority or the Prudential Regulation Authority. British Business Bank plc will operate as a Government-owned financial institution once HM Government has received European Commission State aid clearance, which is expected in 2014.

Recent performance highlights and developments include:

  • £660m of total lending and investment supported in 2013, up 73% versus 2012; approximately half of this was through alternative finance providers.
  • 25,000 businesses were benefitting from £1.5bn of lending and investment supported by British Business Bank programmes at the end of 2013.
  • 10 commitments to date under its combined Investment Programmes will support over £800m of lending capacity through a range of alternative finance provider models.
  • Wholesale Guarantees pilot launched to incentivise new SME lending by regulated banks by using a government-backed portfolio guarantee to reduce the amount of capital they need to hold for SME lending.

Enterprise Capital Funds (ECFs) are commercially-focused funds, supported by the British Business Bank programme, that bring together private and public money to make equity investments in high growth businesses. In total there are 16 Enterprise Capital Funds with an investment capacity of over £530m.


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