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Banks unveil UK’s “largest ever” VC fund

The Business Growth Fund, which is backed by Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds, RBS and Standard Chartered, has unveiled a £200m VC fund for early-stage startups.

The fund will be led by former partner at MMC Ventures Rory Stirling, with Balderton Capital’s Harry Briggs, both of whom are serial investors and sit on the board of some of the UK’s fastest growing startups. They will be joined by Simon Calver, former CEO of LOVEFiLM and chairman at Moo.com.

BGF, which has access to up to £2.5bn from its five bank backers, has already invested more than £500m of long-term capital in nearly 100 entrepreneurs over the past two years.

Chief executive of BGF Stephen Welton explained that the fund’s core business, operating out of 8 regional offices, will continue to focus on providing growth capital, typically between £2m and £10m, for small and mid-sized companies. BGF investment is typically provided in the form of equity in return for a minority stake in the business and a seat on the board.

According to BGF, this is the UK’s “largest ever” VC fund and it will open its doors in September.

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