UK tech industry SNUBBED by EU fund but RESCUED by the British Business Bank | City & Business | Finance

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Episode 1 Ventures is an early-stage tech investor set up by Simon Murdoch, the entrepreneur who launched Amazon in the UK.

So far he has raised £60 million to launch the new fund. 

The fund had applied to the European Investment Fund (EIF) for aid, however, their request was frozen alongside other British tech investors this year due to the triggering of Article 50. 

The EIF is majority owned by the European Investment Bank and is a huge source of funds for British venture capitalists, but since the EU referendum it has “paused” funding in recent months, even though Britain is still in the EU and paying contributions to its budget. 

The BBB has contributed £36million of the £60m fund and following Brexit is expected to be a main player in investing in UK tech. 

The bank was set up by the previous coalition government with the aim of encouraging investment in early stage companies.

Last week’s Budget saw its funding increase. The Chancellor announced an extra £2.5billion to be given to the BBB to help deal with the problem the EIF is no longer investing in UK venture capital funds. 

The EIF said it would continue to assist existing funds but has ceased to take on new start-ups during Brexit negotiations. 

Mr Murdock told the Daily Telegraph: ”Certainly the loss is something that’s being addressed, the pace of investment [from the BBB] will accelerate now which is great.”

Episode 1 has so far invested in online vehicle marketplace Carwow and hotel website Triptease.

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