UK-based venture capital firm Edge Investments has closed a raise of GBP £85 million (approx USD $113m) for a new venture fund.
The Edge Create The Future fund is targeting a final close of £100 million ($133m).
Edge, led by long-time music industry entrepreneur and lawyer, David Glick, says the new fund will target investments in sectors “such as edtech, virtual / augmented reality, adtech, content creation and distribution”.
Don’t be surprised if some of this cash comes the way of music or music-related companies: Edge’s investments to date have included the likes of ticket and travel booking app Festicket, in which Edge invested $4.6 million in 2019.
Edge says the new fund will primarily invest in early-stage businesses, writing initial cheques of between GBP £1 million and £5 million apiece.
Some £50 million of the initial £85 million raised by the Create The Future fund has come from the British Business Bank’ Enterprise Capital Funds programme.
Others who have invested undisclosed amounts into the £85 million pool include SJM Concerts boss, Simon Moran, as well as musician Gavin Rossdale.
Further investments within the £85 million round have come from the likes of Tim Steiner, Founder of Ocado plc; “Paw Patrol” and “Bob the Builder” creator Keith Chapman; former Airbnb Head of Creative James Goode; Google/YouTube International Head of Kids, Family & Education Greg Dray; Snap France co-founder Emmanuel Durand; former BILD Editor-in-Chief Tanit Koch; eLearning specialist Andrew Brode; and ITV chairman Sir Peter Bazalgette.
Edge’s investment team is led by Simon Andrews. Fundraising was led by David Fisher.
Commenting on the launch of Create the Future, David Glick, CEO, Edge Investments said: “Creativity, art, education and culture, enrich and improve the quality of all our lives through their consumption and enjoyment, and through the technological advancements they inspire.
“If you don’t have social mobility, you don’t have civilisation. The creative economy is a great jobs engine, it rewards talent, grit and determination as much as academic brilliance. Edge’s role is important in providing a bridge between the creative economy – which suffers from a lack of access to finance – and private capital markets, in making a positive contribution to the overall wellbeing of society and in empowering social mobility.”
“Edge’s role is important in providing a bridge between the creative economy – which suffers from a lack of access to finance – and private capital markets, in making a positive contribution to the overall wellbeing of society and in empowering social mobility.”
David Glick, Edge Investments
Simon Andrews, Chief Investment Officer, Edge Investments said: “The creative economy is one of the fastest growing economic sectors, yet deep expertise in investing in creative businesses is lacking, and the conventional tools of venture capital fail to appreciate their true value.
“The Edge team has decades of experience as investors, advisors and operators in the creative economy that allows us to identify the most exciting companies in the sector and help them to deliver on their growth potential.”
Ken Cooper, Managing Director, Venture Solutions, British Business Bank said: “The Bank’s Enterprise Capital Funds programme is key in helping to develop and maintain an effective venture capital provision in the UK, lowering the barriers to entry for emerging fund managers and for those targeting less well-served areas of the market.
“By continuing our support of Edge and their second fund, we are helping to unlock successful financing and support of early stage, high-potential businesses operating in the creative economy.”
Edge launched its first fund in 2016.
Its portfolio includes: social content producer Jungle Creations, audio advertising personalisation company A Million Ads, online video news community and marketplace Newsflare, and global esports network BLAST.Music Business Worldwide