BRITBOTS and Sapphire Capital Partners are pleased to announce the launch of the British Robotics Start-Up Fund (the “Fund”), to take advantage of the new, more beneficial environment for investing under the Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (“SEIS”).
Over the past six years, the British Robotics funds have invested in 34 companies, backing entrepreneurs creating productivity-boosting technologies, particularly in the areas of robotics, artificial intelligence and automation. The Fund will continue this technology focus and seek to capitalise on major global trends such as shortages of skilled labour, the transition away from fossil fuels, supply chain inefficiencies and the depletion of natural resources.
The majority of the British Robotics funds investments have been made under the tax-advantageous Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme, which substantially mitigates the risks to investors of backing young, high potential businesses. The funds also have also sought to build broad sector-diverse portfolios of company holdings in order to further reduce the risk for investors. The British Robotics Start-Up Fund is a successor to previous British Robotics SEIS funds including British Robotics Seed Fund (1 & 2) and the British Robotics Sidecar Fund.
It was recently announced that the limits available to companies and investors utilising SEIS will be extended from 6th April 2023. Despite other parts of the mini-Budget having been reversed, HMRC has confirmed that the extension to SEIS will stand. This will make SEIS-eligible opportunities an even more attractive investment option for private investors. Individuals will be able to invest up to £200,000 in SEIS-qualifying companies each year, and companies will be able to accept up to £250,000 within their first three years under SEIS. It is worth noting that such a beneficial tax scheme may not survive a further change of government, therefore appropriate investors should take advantage of the scheme whilst they can.
The Fund allows investors to subscribe between £10,000 and £300,000 into the fund each year with at least 60% of the investment going to SEIS-qualifying companies and the remainder in opportunities that qualify for the Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS). This means that each investor will be able to immediately offset at least 42% of the amount they invest in the Fund against their tax bill, as well as potentially also benefiting from subsequent tax benefits.
Dominic Keen, Managing Partner of Britbots commented that “Robotics, applied artificial intelligence and automation will become increasingly important as global productivity levels stagnate, skilled labour shortages increase and supply chain bottlenecks continue. We’re looking forward to backing world-class talent to address these problems and deliver out-sized returns to investors.”
Boyd Carson of Sapphire Capital Partners added that: “The British Robotics Start-Up Fund represents an opportunity for investors to take advantage of SEIS, whilst benefiting from a unique, compelling investment thesis.”