15 blogs
  • The advent of the Government's Autumn budget statement always brings forth a number of predictions. Some wise, some hopeful, and some just plain odd. Into this mix, one this year caught my eye. Apparently, the Government is likely to reduce the amount of income tax relief available to investors in the EIS scheme and increase the qualifying period required to achieve that income tax relief. The originator of this suggestion is RSM, reportedly a tax consultancy service.   Given that nothing is impossible, yes, it could come to pass. However, do we think it is probable? No, not even remotely. I accept that if you take as your context the idea that EIS is a tax shelter for the wealthy, people who can shelter £300k of income tax relief by making a £1m investment, then I think you can convince yourself that this is indeed a possibility. But how many people actually invest £1m into EIS? Not many, that's for sure. Once upon a time when the Government offered EIS relief for investing in renewable energy, or asset backed investments there were a goodly number of people who invested well over £500k a year into these EIS backed schemes.   Times have changed though, with the Government steadily tightening the EIS rules to remove all of these from EIS eligibility over the last few years. That was done to ensure that EIS support was focused onto UK venture businesses, those companies that were likely to generate high growth and, commensurately high contribution to UK GDP. The UK needs this support, as we are not yet that good at supporting our later stage venture companies, the so-called 'Scale Up' stage.   EIS has been very successful at nurturing seed and start up investing, especially with the creation of Seed EIS relief, which increased income tax relief for those who would take a higher investment risk by supporting a start-up business. The challenge for the Government now is to repeat that success with scale-up businesses, in some cases those who benefitted from Seed EIS earlier in their lives, and now need another helping hand to underpin their high growth. Typically, this is when they start tackling international expansion, and have annual revenues in excess of £2-3m and growth rates over 100%.   The question that the Government has been grappling with, and has consulted on widely, is how to best support later stage scale-up businesses in the UK. Most reasoned contributions suggest a marginal increase in EIS relief for investors that support companies in the scale-up stage, with ideas that range from increases in Loss Relief to enhanced Capital Gains Tax deferral. These are ideas that alter the balance of risk for investors, without cost to the Government and as such, are much more likely to appear in the fullness of time.   In conclusion, the idea that the Government would knowingly hit UK venture businesses, and hit them hard by reducing the flows of EIS cash to them, just doesn't make any sense. It also goes against the evidence of the last few years, where successive Governments of all three hues, Labour, Conservative and coalition have repeatedly strengthened and refined the EIS reliefs to support UK businesses. I see this continuing, although given we now have the best set of tax support measures for venture businesses in the world, it's difficult to see too much of major significance changing.   Dr Julian HickmanPartnerJuno Capital LLP   jhickman@junocapital.co.ukwww.junocapital.co.uk
    83 Posted by administrator
  • The advent of the Government's Autumn budget statement always brings forth a number of predictions. Some wise, some hopeful, and some just plain odd. Into this mix, one this year caught my eye. Apparently, the Government is likely to reduce the amount of income tax relief available to investors in the EIS scheme and increase the qualifying period required to achieve that income tax relief. The originator of this suggestion is RSM, reportedly a tax consultancy service.   Given that nothing is impossible, yes, it could come to pass. However, do we think it is probable? No, not even remotely. I accept that if you take as your context the idea that EIS is a tax shelter for the wealthy, people who can shelter £300k of income tax relief by making a £1m investment, then I think you can convince yourself that this is indeed a possibility. But how many people actually invest £1m into EIS? Not many, that's for sure. Once upon a time when the Government offered EIS relief for investing in renewable energy, or asset backed investments there were a goodly number of people who invested well over £500k a year into these EIS backed schemes.   Times have changed though, with the Government steadily tightening the EIS rules to remove all of these from EIS eligibility over the last few years. That was done to ensure that EIS support was focused onto UK venture businesses, those companies that were likely to generate high growth and, commensurately high contribution to UK GDP. The UK needs this support, as we are not yet that good at supporting our later stage venture companies, the so-called 'Scale Up' stage.   EIS has been very successful at nurturing seed and start up investing, especially with the creation of Seed EIS relief, which increased income tax relief for those who would take a higher investment risk by supporting a start-up business. The challenge for the Government now is to repeat that success with scale-up businesses, in some cases those who benefitted from Seed EIS earlier in their lives, and now need another helping hand to underpin their high growth. Typically, this is when they start tackling international expansion, and have annual revenues in excess of £2-3m and growth rates over 100%.   The question that the Government has been grappling with, and has consulted on widely, is how to best support later stage scale-up businesses in the UK. Most reasoned contributions suggest a marginal increase in EIS relief for investors that support companies in the scale-up stage, with ideas that range from increases in Loss Relief to enhanced Capital Gains Tax deferral. These are ideas that alter the balance of risk for investors, without cost to the Government and as such, are much more likely to appear in the fullness of time.   In conclusion, the idea that the Government would knowingly hit UK venture businesses, and hit them hard by reducing the flows of EIS cash to them, just doesn't make any sense. It also goes against the evidence of the last few years, where successive Governments of all three hues, Labour, Conservative and coalition have repeatedly strengthened and refined the EIS reliefs to support UK businesses. I see this continuing, although given we now have the best set of tax support measures for venture businesses in the world, it's difficult to see too much of major significance changing.   Dr Julian HickmanPartnerJuno Capital LLP   jhickman@junocapital.co.ukwww.junocapital.co.uk
    Sep 28, 2017 83
  • We were delighted to attend the LSE this morning to see Destiny Pharma, a Juno Capital portfolio company, welcomed to the AIM Market.   The day has seen the company well received by the market and, at the time of writing, was trading approximately 40% up on the bell.   More commentary to follow over the coming days.
    176 Posted by administrator
  • We were delighted to attend the LSE this morning to see Destiny Pharma, a Juno Capital portfolio company, welcomed to the AIM Market.   The day has seen the company well received by the market and, at the time of writing, was trading approximately 40% up on the bell.   More commentary to follow over the coming days.
    Sep 04, 2017 176
  • 2017 is proving to be a landmark year for Cloud IQ. In March 2017, we announced Series A funding of £4 million from Nauta Capital, Finance Wales and Juno Capital, establishing ourselves as one of the best-funded commerce optimisation platforms, and accelerating our roadmap development. Today, we are pleased to have secured an additional £4 million from lead investor PayPal,and returning investors Nauta Capital, Finance Wales and Juno Capital. The investment cements our exclusive conversion rate optimisation partnership with PayPal, enabling ecommerce businesses using PayPal to track 100% of transactions with Cloud IQ, optimising the consumer journey and resulting in more customers. “Through our recent partnership with Cloud IQ it is clear we share a common vision to improve the consumer journey. Today, Artificial Intelligence powered technology is finally able to deliver individualised consumer experiences at scale. PayPal is excited to support Cloud IQ as they bring to market solutions that improve the overall shopping experience on both web and mobile.” Jeremy Jonker, VP, Head of Global Corporate Development at PayPal. “Cloud IQ’s proposition and market traction is impressive. We are excited by future products that Cloud IQ will bring to market through the opportunities created by this round of funding.” Carles Ferrer, London-based General Partner at Nauta Capital. “Cloud IQ is an exciting and innovative platform. The team at Cloud IQ are ambitious and are on a high growth trajectory and we’re pleased to continue to be able to support them in this latest funding round.” Finance Wales, Investment Executive Carmine Circelli. Investing in our team The funding has enabled us to establish a new engineering teams, senior hires and new offices. We have opened a new hub in Cardiff, Wales, to coordinate sales and bolster customer support, demonstrating our commitment to our customers. Strengthening our senior management team is a priority, which has led us to appoint Tim Perks as Chief Financial Officer and Nick Peart as Chief Marketing Officer. Perks is a proven CFO in the enterprise technology space, having worked with New Voice Media, Redstone and Baltimore. Peart brings a wealth of marketing experience having worked with leading global brands such as Zendesk, Adobe and Clearswift; he will lead global marketing strategy to drive brand and market awareness of Cloud IQ. To grow the team and have closed this round of funding so soon after the last one - and with the participation of PayPal - is testament to the momentum we are building at Cloud IQ. Together we are pioneering new technology which makes the internet work better for consumers, starting with eCommerce.
    167 Posted by administrator
  • 2017 is proving to be a landmark year for Cloud IQ. In March 2017, we announced Series A funding of £4 million from Nauta Capital, Finance Wales and Juno Capital, establishing ourselves as one of the best-funded commerce optimisation platforms, and accelerating our roadmap development. Today, we are pleased to have secured an additional £4 million from lead investor PayPal,and returning investors Nauta Capital, Finance Wales and Juno Capital. The investment cements our exclusive conversion rate optimisation partnership with PayPal, enabling ecommerce businesses using PayPal to track 100% of transactions with Cloud IQ, optimising the consumer journey and resulting in more customers. “Through our recent partnership with Cloud IQ it is clear we share a common vision to improve the consumer journey. Today, Artificial Intelligence powered technology is finally able to deliver individualised consumer experiences at scale. PayPal is excited to support Cloud IQ as they bring to market solutions that improve the overall shopping experience on both web and mobile.” Jeremy Jonker, VP, Head of Global Corporate Development at PayPal. “Cloud IQ’s proposition and market traction is impressive. We are excited by future products that Cloud IQ will bring to market through the opportunities created by this round of funding.” Carles Ferrer, London-based General Partner at Nauta Capital. “Cloud IQ is an exciting and innovative platform. The team at Cloud IQ are ambitious and are on a high growth trajectory and we’re pleased to continue to be able to support them in this latest funding round.” Finance Wales, Investment Executive Carmine Circelli. Investing in our team The funding has enabled us to establish a new engineering teams, senior hires and new offices. We have opened a new hub in Cardiff, Wales, to coordinate sales and bolster customer support, demonstrating our commitment to our customers. Strengthening our senior management team is a priority, which has led us to appoint Tim Perks as Chief Financial Officer and Nick Peart as Chief Marketing Officer. Perks is a proven CFO in the enterprise technology space, having worked with New Voice Media, Redstone and Baltimore. Peart brings a wealth of marketing experience having worked with leading global brands such as Zendesk, Adobe and Clearswift; he will lead global marketing strategy to drive brand and market awareness of Cloud IQ. To grow the team and have closed this round of funding so soon after the last one - and with the participation of PayPal - is testament to the momentum we are building at Cloud IQ. Together we are pioneering new technology which makes the internet work better for consumers, starting with eCommerce.
    Jul 31, 2017 167
  • In this column I have previously outlined what I believe are the key principles for a contemporary and effective Industrial Strategy. The UK ranks third in the world for start-up businesses but not so well in the follow-up phase. The Business Growth Fund has demonstrated that there is significant demand for funding small and medium-sized businesses that have gone past the start-up stage. We have a long way to go, however, in performing as well as the US in this crucial area of the economy. I have been a long-standing and committed supporter of start-ups through my role as a “business angel”. Angel investors are typically established entrepreneurs and business leaders. In addition to deploying our own cash in seeding highly innovative, often disruptive and inevitably risky, new businesses, we are passionate about mentoring the next generation of entrepreneurs.
    205 Posted by administrator
  • In this column I have previously outlined what I believe are the key principles for a contemporary and effective Industrial Strategy. The UK ranks third in the world for start-up businesses but not so well in the follow-up phase. The Business Growth Fund has demonstrated that there is significant demand for funding small and medium-sized businesses that have gone past the start-up stage. We have a long way to go, however, in performing as well as the US in this crucial area of the economy. I have been a long-standing and committed supporter of start-ups through my role as a “business angel”. Angel investors are typically established entrepreneurs and business leaders. In addition to deploying our own cash in seeding highly innovative, often disruptive and inevitably risky, new businesses, we are passionate about mentoring the next generation of entrepreneurs.
    Jun 26, 2017 205