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British Business Bank Future Fund: Breakthrough

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What is the Business Support?

The programme makes equity co-investments with private sector investors in growth stage R&D-intensive British companies operating in breakthrough technology sectors. The minimum total investment round size is £30m. The maximum Future Fund: Breakthrough share of an investment round is 30%.

It is a separate programme to the now closed Future Fund that provided convertible loans, valued up to £5m, to a broad range of innovative companies to address the funding challenges caused by Covid-19.

Key Features

  • Focused on R&D intensive companies
  • Minimum total investment round size of £30m
  • Companies must have raised at least £5m in previous funding rounds
  • Companies must be UK based with significant UK operations
  • The application must be made by a lead investor

Through the commercialisation of R&D, breakthrough technology companies accelerate the deployment of innovative technologies, that can transform major industries, develop new medicines, and support the transition to a net zero economy, building on the UK’s position as a science superpower.

Due to high research and development costs, breakthrough technology companies typically require more capital than other technology companies to fuel the later stages of their growth.

The lead investor is the investor applying to Future Fund: Breakthrough and can be a new or existing investor. The lead investor does not have to be the largest investor in the round but is expected to contribute a significant amount to the investment round and meet the lead investor criteria.


The fund is designed to provide equity funding to innovative, R&D-intensive UK companies operating in breakthrough technology sectors (such as quantum, clean tech, and life sciences). These are sectors which typically have a longer lead time to product commercialisation.

The fund is focused where there is the greatest need for intervention to increase the investment round size.

Company eligibility criteria

  • The company receiving investment should be UK based (UK incorporated) with significant UK operations (meaning at least half of its overall employment base and research employees are based in the UK).
  • The company must be carrying out R&D activity in the UK by meeting all three of the following criteria:
  • R&D spending (as defined by pre-set accounting rules) will have been at least 10% of total operational cost base on average over the last 3 years or at least 15% in one of the past 3 years.
  • Company is developing defensible intellectual property in the UK which they expect to be the company’s main revenue source.
  • Company intends that 20% or more employees will be carrying our research for at least 3 years from the date of investment, in roles that require a relevant master’s degree or higher.
  • The company must have raised at least £5m of equity investment from third-party investors in previous funding rounds in the last five years prior to FF:B investment.
  • The company must be raising a minimum investment round size of £30m.

Lead investor eligibility criteria

Companies raising an investment round with the support of Future Fund: Breakthrough will require a lead investor to meet one of the criteria below:

  • Any fund managed or advised by an FCA (or equivalent) authorised firm with private sector investment making up greater than 50% of the total fund size and who is currently managing an active fund greater than £100m. The fund must have raised capital from at least three independent LPs (or equivalent) and the fund must have a written investment strategy that aligns with the FF:B investment strategy
  • Any fund or investment vehicle with an appropriate investment strategy, managed or advised by a fund manager which has applied to and obtained an investment from a member of the British Business Bank group. For example, those supported by British Patient Capital and by the Enterprise Capital Funds programme.
  • Other equivalent investment vehicles i.e. those with greater than £100m of investment capital, a broad range of independent investors, and an appropriate investment strategy, where these have been approved by FF:B.

Following the initial application the lead investor will be required to share an investment paper with British Patient Capital setting out the rationale for making the investment. The paper should include information about valuation, the business plan and any follow-on funding expectations.

The lead investor will be subject to reputation and customer due diligence checks and be required to share any legal and, financial due diligence reports prepared on the company with British Patient Capital. The lead investor will also be expected to contribute a significant amount to the investment round.

Who runs it?

The British Business Bank

How to find out more?

To find out more please click here.

To begin an application please click here.

Contact information:

British Business Bank


British Business Bank Steel City House West Street Sheffield S1 2GQ

0114 206 2131