Bristol & Bath Regional Capital (BBRC) has invested its entire £1m allocation for early-stage impact startups, with investments including battery energy storage and robots fighting loneliness.
The local initiative is an arm of the £10m City Funds, a joint venture between Bristol City Council, Quartet Community Foundation and BBRC.
“The venture ecosystem in Bristol is building the future of the city now, and we want impact to be a central part of that,” said Jari Moate, investment director at BBRC.
“That’s why we have chosen to deploy £1m into early-stage ventures who are developing and leading solutions to solve some of the biggest social and environmental problems faced in Bristol.”
Moate added that City Funds is tackling “key local issues and inequalities”.
Energy startup Albion Technologies received the biggest investment from BBRC at £400,000. It has built a Bristol-based production facility to construct battery energy storage devices.
Another tech startup in the portfolio is Service Robotics, which is developing a robot to help with elderly care and loneliness.
“Enabling and supporting the development of technology products and businesses that have a positive impact on society is critical and funding of these businesses has historically been difficult,” said Nick Sturge, chair of techSPARK.
Yuup, a ticket-selling platform, and virtual support app AutonoMe have received support from the Bristol fund.
Despite allocating its assigned £1m from the City Funds, BBRC said it remains open for enquiries for later-stage businesses seeking working and project funding support.
Another South West backer is the venture capital firm QantX, which is working on raising £100m for its second fund.