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How this UK-based VC fund has backed 100 high-growth companies in less than 10 years

The UK venture capital fund, ACF Investors, that works alongside sector expert business angels to invest in high potential businesses, has marked a new milestone as it crossed 100th company investment. Launched in 2011, the company (formerly the Angel CoFund) has come a long way. In a tete-a-tete with UKTN, Tim Mills, Managing Partner of ACF Investors, talks about the company’s decade-long support to fast-growing businesses, its commitment to regional development of startups across UK and how the angel-partnership investment model is driving growth in the UK.

Landmark 100th investment

ACF Investors reached the latest milestone with the completion of three new investments, which are representative of the fund’s unique investment model across sectors and geographies. Kuano.ai which is a London-headquartered software platform for rapid, cost-effective quantum modelling of enzymes adds to ACF Investors’ growing Medtech portfolio. On the software side, Scene Group, the Manchester-based creator of animation software Cavalry, which was backed by mobile games entrepreneurs and founders of Playdemic, Paul Gouge and Alex Rigby, and Scotland-based SnapDragon Monitoring, an online brand protection business, which demonstrates the wider reach of ACF Investors across the UK.

Co-investing with ‘sector smart’ investors

Talking about how the journey has been for ACF and evolution of its growth strategy, he reminisces: “ACF launched in the aftermath of the credit crunch, and the investment landscape was a little bleak at that time, but with some clear indicators that exciting things could happen. Working with a range of partners who wanted to see the angel eco-system thrive and back great UK companies, such as British Business Bank, the fund set out to co-invest with individual investors with deep sector knowledge and complement them with significant amounts of capital. In essence, the idea was to give smart money more influence and ensure companies beyond the usual hot spots could plug into serious capital.”...

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