Small companies and start-ups face the choice of whether to grow slowly through organic growth, or to seek external funding. Companies using external funding may go through some of the following stages:
- Seed funding: the initial investment, which may include friends or family. Normally you would have this in place when starting the company.
- Crowd funding: an alternative to traditional seed funding which is becoming popular.
- Angel investors: high net worth investors who are prepared to invest up to about a million pounds once the initial business is started. While there are tax concessions for angels, the investment is typically a significant proportion of their wealth, and a proposal to a potential angel must be carefully prepared in order to allow them to evaluate risk. An angel may be interested in a long term investment, or in “harvesting” to crystalise profits after a particular time horizon.
- SEIS (Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme) funds: managed investment funds which spread the risk over several early stage companies, with less than two year’s trading, fewer than 25 employees, and less than £200k of assets.
- EIS (Enterprise Investment Scheme): similar to SEIS funds, but investing in more mature companies with up to 250 employees and up to £15M assets.
- Venture capital: this may come from traditional venture capital firms, or from VCTs (venture capital trusts), which invest in companies that are either unquoted or trading on the AIM. Typical investments are in the range £1-15M.
We can help prepare your proposal for any of these methods of funding by working with you on the business case, preparing presentations, applying for SEIS and EIS, and most importantly by introducing you to potential funders. We are constantly asked by angels for suitable projects and businesses to invest in, especially under the EIS and SEIS scheme. We can help you find the right route to take your idea to the next stage and make the introduction.
Those requiring larger sums from £1 – 100 million can be introduced to funding sources of various types. Our expertise will guide you through the process without you giving away the majority of your business and losing control. This is a negotiated settlement and we are on your side.