How to raise investment in Liverpool City Region

Published on Business stage: Scaling, Starting, Thinking, Unlocking

This isn’t just a good time to raise finance, it’s a great time!

Businesses in the Liverpool City Region are being urged to consider the many funding avenues open to them. Over the last few years, companies in London and the South East looking to access funding typically raised on average £2-3M, while comparable businesses in the North West only raised approximately £500K over the same period. Mark Lawler, Managing Director at Baltic Creative CIC, asked

“how do we level the playing field, how do companies in the LCR raise investment?”

Speaking at an event organised by Baltic Creative, representatives from Envestors, BDO and Tribefirst provided information on some of the different funding routes available to local companies.

First up was Scott Haughton, COO and Co-Founder of Envestors, a fintech company that connects investors and scale-up businesses. Launched in 2004, Envestors has raised £130M for 230 companies.

“This period of uncertainty is actually a great time to raise finance,” says Scott. “History repeats itself. In 2008, at the beginning of the financial crisis, £1.5bn was invested in start-ups across the UK. In 2018, there was no sign of a slowdown, with £5.8bn invested into UK businesses and 2020 is looking even stronger”.

Six top tips to help you raise investment

As well as the need to properly plan your fund-raising strategy, Scott talked delegates through six important considerations when looking to raise finance:

  1. Get an accurate – conservative even – valuation
  2. Preparation is crucial: plan for your investment to come from multiple sources – define your investment proposition and adapt it for different audiences
  3. Focus on investor relations – happy, informed investors make repeat investors
  4. Put yourself in the investor’s shoes – don’t treat them like an ATM, these people are the lifeblood of your business and should not only be contacted when you need money
  5. Be patient – fundraising is a marathon not a sprint
  6. Take control of your fundraising – Envestors help companies to do this using their digital platform. This platform provides FCA regulatory cover, online pledging and transfer, a secure data room for any sensitive company documentation and a dedicated investor relations facility.

Envestors have three pricing options, the middle package – Essentials Access is £3,950 and includes the portal license and access to its network of 3,500+ angel investor network.

The importance of R&D tax relief and how to crowdfund

Vincent Walker, Tax Principal at BDO LLP, shared his advice on how companies across the LCR can access R&D tax relief. He said:

“43% of the companies attending this event are not claiming R&D tax relief or a grant. R&D tax credits and innovation grants aren’t just available to science-based companies, people in white coats. There are R&D tax credits and grants available for process development as much as product development”.

Finally, we also heard from Gavin Anderson, whose job title is ‘Great Leaper’ at TribeFirst. He talked delegates through the why and wherefores of crowdfunding, advising attendees to

“find their tribe and love them hard”

TribeFirst are a specialist agency that combines campaign management, communications strategy, marketing, PR, investor engagement and events to help companies crowdfund.

“We have a 98% success rate in helping clients to raise funding and we work on a risk / reward basis with 85% of our fee being at risk and contingent on achieving the target funding. In many cases we exceed the target.”

For more information on any of the speakers visit:

Envestors

BDO LLP

Tribefirst

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