SIS Ventures kick-starts round two of funding round seeking £3.7m

SIS Ventures is launching a second round of fundraising with the aim of attracting up to £3.7 million to scale up its support for Scotland’s high impact enterprises.

SIS Ventures kick-starts round two of funding round seeking £3.7m

Alastair Davis, CEO of SIS Ventures and Alan Mahon, founder of Brewgooder

The Impact First Fund successfully raised c.£1.3m from 25 UK-based private investors. More than 100 high-growth early-stage enterprises, focused on delivering profit with purpose, have applied for funding, with eight having secured or in active discussion about investment.

These include:

  • Talking Medicines, a Glasgow headquartered data-tech company that believes that the patient should be at the centre of healthcare. Talking Medicines’ data-products allow Pharmaceutical Companies to make patient-centric marketing decisions, driving more effective medicines. SIS Ventures led the seed round of this ambitious tech-for-good company in May 2019 with participation from Scottish Investment Bank and Independent Angels.
  • EnteroBiotix, an Aberdeen-headquartered life sciences firm which harnesses bacteria from the human gut to prevent and treat infections and diseases. Investment proceeds are enabling the business to achieve key, regulatory, operational and clinical milestones as it continues to develop its product pipeline for the benefit of patients.
  • Brewgooder, the Edinburgh craft beer label, on a mission to bring clean water to 1 million people. Investment from Impact First is being used to expand Brewgooder’s market presence and support the next phase of growth.
  • Cyan Forensics, an Edinburgh-based Napier University spin-out. Cyan Forensics technology lets law enforcement, social media, and cloud companies detect, block and restrict distribution of harmful digital content to protect vulnerable groups.
  • Good-Loop is an award-winning programmatic video, social and rich media solution, connecting viewers and brands through ethical, high-quality formats - all while giving 50% of revenues to charities. Investment from Impact First was part of $1.6m (£1.23m) seed-funding round which Good-Loop recently secured.

Social Investment Scotland was established in 2001 to provide a new finance model for Scotland’s charities and social enterprises. Since then it has invested over £70m across Scotland. Loan finance via Social Investment Scotland is available from £10,000 to £1.7m and is aimed at community enterprises and social businesses that might find access to finance from mainstream providers difficult.

Social Investment Scotland also helps to manage funds on behalf of third parties with any profits being re-invested into social business development in Scotland. Social Investment Scotland currently manages the largest social enterprise fund in Scotland on behalf of the Scottish Government.

With the first portfolio almost complete, expecting to comprise eight companies in total, the second round of fundraising will showcase the success of these first investments as proof of the Fund’s purpose-led investment strategy amongst new and existing investors.

Benefiting from both Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) relief and Social Investment Tax Relief (SITR), Impact First Fund offers investors a portfolio of high-growth potential, high-impact enterprises which aim to tackle a clearly identifiable social problem with a scalable and disruptive business solution.

Entrepreneurs with an ambition to make a difference whilst growing their business, gain access to mission-aligned investment through investment delivered by SIS Ventures, the mission-led investment arm of responsible finance provider Social Investment Scotland (SIS).

The announcement of a second round of fundraising follows the appointment of David Ovens, chief operating officer at Archangels and former vice chair of SIS Ventures, as chair of SIS Ventures to support the next phase of growth.

Alastair Davis, CEO, SIS Ventures, said: “Demand for investment funding from early-stage mission-led entrepreneurs has surpassed all of our expectations. Since launching Impact First last year, we have proved without doubt that there is more than sufficient appetite for such a Fund among highly ambitious enterprises with aspirations for growth.

“We also know from our ongoing discussions with the investor community that investor interest is strong. However, to date, many have adopted a ‘wait and see’ approach, based on the relative scarcity of evidence to support an impact-first investment approach.

“With our first portfolio of investments almost complete, we are now able to more visibly prove the investment case. We’ve already started our discussions with the investor community, and we’ll be looking to complete the second raise within a few months.”

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