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Codebase boss wants to fill gap

Exclusive: Coleman plans £10 million venture fund for growing firms

Jamie ColemanJamie Coleman, who heads up Britain’s biggest technology incubator, intends to raise a multi-million pound fund this year to fill a gap he believes is holding back Scotland’s growth firms.

The managing director of Codebase is to launch a venture fund, probably £10 million, to invest in those companies who struggle to raise capital beyond seed and angel level funding.

His fund will target those needing more than £500,000 and thereby help retain and build companies that often have to go elsewhere to get it, or else relocate.

“With £10m, and a 3% management fee at £50,000 a pop, you could build 180 companies,” he says.

Mr Coleman is setting himself and Codebase high standards to take the project he launched initially as Techcube to the next level.

Last year he leased three floors of Argyle House which is now filled with 50 rapidly-expanding technology companies and he has plans to lease another three of the 11-storey block in the shadow of Edinburgh Castle.

But he is concerned that Scotland risks losing many of these firms because of a lack of venture capital funds in the country. It has just two, whereas Dublin alone as 50.

This is largely because the Irish changed the funding model. Instead of public sector money being directed at initiatives and small scale investments, venture capital firms attract these funds and then identify the companies and take on the risk.

Mr Coleman said: “There is a lot of sub-£500,000 money around. We are utterly missing out in providing funds above £500,000.”

 

 

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