London-based VC firm Edge Investments has raised £85m to invest in startups in the creative economy, which includes companies in areas such as virtual reality (VR), adtech and content creation.
The investment round was led by the British Business Bank, contributing £50m via its Enterprise Capital Funds programme. The UK government-owned business development bank aims to increase the supply of equity capital to early-stage, high-potential UK companies. It’s the British Business Bank’s second capital injection in an Edge Fund, investing £24m in the Edge Creative Enterprise Fund in 2015.
The investment comes at a time when the creative economy is one of the fastest-growing sectors in the world. It has a value of over $2.2bn and comprises 11 per cent of the overall UK economy.
Edge’s Create the Future Fund
Edge’s Create the Future fund has attracted investment from a group of entrepreneurs, creatives and business leaders with a background in technology and intellectual property.
The list of investors includes sports and outdoor brand powerhouse Pentland Group; Tim Steiner, founder of Ocado; independent live music promoter Simon Moran; musician Gavin Rossdale; former Airbnb head of creative James Goode and many more.
Edge’s Create the Future will invest in businesses in the creative economy, especially in sectors such as edtech, virtual or augmented reality (AR / VR), adtech, content creation and distribution. It will provide initial investments of between £1m and £5m for each early-stage business and help drive their growth.
David Glick, CEO and founder of 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.”
Simon Andrews, chief investment officer at Edge Investments, said: “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 at British Business Bank said: “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.”