Alert Icon

Beware of scams

We are aware of scams coming from email and social media where people try to impersonate us. We will never ask you for money or your bank details.

Learn more about what to look out for and how to protect yourself

British Business Bank Investments Ltd makes £400m from Autumn Statement available to venture capital funds

Press release 18 January 2017

British Business Bank Investments Ltd, the commercial arm of the government-owned British Business Bank, is now accepting proposals from VC funds looking to access the £400m pledged in the recent Autumn Statement to support ambitious businesses wanting to scale-up.

  • The £400m, announced by the Chancellor in November, will be used to continue the Bank’s established VC Catalyst programme.
  • This additional funding represents a major expansion for the programme, which addresses gaps in the UK’s venture capital investor base.
  • The enlarged VC Catalyst programme primarily supports VC funds that invest in technology companies. It is designed to crowd-in private sector funding to help high-growth smaller businesses access the equity capital they need to scale-up.

The VC Catalyst will focus on later stage funding, complementing the British Business Bank’s venture capital programmes – Enterprise Capital Funds and the Angel CoFund – which support earlier stage VC investments.

The programme has already built a diverse portfolio covering early and growth stage businesses across digital, life sciences, energy and resource efficiency. It is one of a number of programmes developed by British Business Bank Investments Ltd and the British Business Bank with the overall aim of helping to drive the UK’s small business economy.

Our VC Catalyst has proved successful over the last four years, with funds committed so far – both by ourselves and other investors – totaling £919m. We are delighted the Government has reiterated its commitment to our support for venture capital with this additional £400m of funding.

We are looking forward to engaging with funds with a verifiable track record in supporting high-growth businesses and an ability to leverage in private sector investment to support the UK’s venture capital ecosystem.

British Business Bank Investments Ltd invests in challenger banks and non-bank providers of finance, as well as debt and venture capital funds, to increase the choice of finance for small and medium-sized businesses.

Catherine Lewis La Torre CEO of British Business Bank Investments Ltd

Businesses can find out more about their funding options, including venture capital, by accessing the Business Finance Guide. Published by the British Business Bank in partnership with the ICAEW and a further 21 business and finance organisations, the guide impartially sets out the range of finance options available to businesses – from start-ups to SMEs and growing mid-sized companies. Take the interactive journey, or download/print a copy, at

The Request for Proposals is available at

Further Information

Notes to editors

About British Business Bank Investments Ltd

British Business Bank Investments Ltd is the commercial arm of the British Business Bank. It aims to earn a commercial return by investing – through finance providers – in smaller businesses and small mid-caps, pursuing investments on a fully commercial basis without receiving any advantage from the government. Find out more at

British Business Bank Investments Ltd is a wholly owned subsidiary of British Business Bank plc, the UK government’s economic development bank, registered in England and Wales, registration number 09091930, registered office at Foundry House, 3 Millsands, Sheffield, S3 8NH. Neither entity is authorised or regulated by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) or the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

British Business Bank plc and its principal operating subsidiaries are not banking institutions and do not operate as such. A complete legal structure chart for British Business Bank plc and its subsidiaries can be found on the British Business Bank plc website.

About the VC Catalyst

BBBIL expects to make VC Catalyst investments of over £5m, subject to an upper limit of £50m per fund, in venture capital funds led by private sector fund managers who have a proven track record. It is designed to be significant in a manager’s fundraising efforts and it will commit to invest up to 33% of the total fund size at first close.

The programme is currently supporting 49 SMEs through 9 venture capital funds (as at end June 2016). Its most recent commitment was a £10m investment in a new £260m technology fundraised by Scottish Equity Partners (SEP).

The Request for Proposals is available here.