SME investment event specialist Crowdfinders has launched Race to Scale – a £100m funding drive for UK businesses that are looking to grow.

Launched in partnership with the likes of the UKBAA, Seedrs, SyndicateRoom and Crowdcube, the programme will distribute the £100m throughout the year to promising scaling businesses in amounts ranging from £100,000 to £5m.

The funding pot will comprise of equity and debt finance sourced throughout 2016 via private equity firm IW Capital, and will only be allocated to established small to mid-sized enterprises with proven concepts that require capital to scale – it is not open to startups requiring first-round funding.

Crowdfinders is to host four pitching sessions throughout the year, at which applicants will have the opportunity to pitch to hundreds of active angel and high-net-worth investors. The first of these events is taking place on 21st April, at the Royal Institution in Mayfair, London.

Companies that took part in Crowdfinders’ last pitch event, held in October, secured £1.9m in development finance following four hours of live pitching. One of the successful scaleups was online canine sharing community BorrowMyDoggy.

Luke Davis, chairman and co-founder of Crowdfinders, said: “The scale-up phase is notoriously difficult to get right, but with greater access to funds and targeted mentorship, we could witness more business success stories – something I’m keen to see happen across the UK.”

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