Bridges Ventures beats target with £75m for second community development venture fund

11th June 2007

Bridges Ventures, the venture capital company with a social mission, has raised £75m for its second fund, Bridges Community Development Venture (CDV) Fund II, beating its original target of £50m by 50% and its original hard cap of £60m. The second fund, which includes many follow-on investors from the first fund, has raised more than […]

Bridges Ventures, the venture capital company with a social mission, has raised £75m for its second fund, Bridges Community Development Venture (CDV) Fund II, beating its original target of £50m by 50% and its original hard cap of £60m.

The second fund, which includes many follow-on investors from the first fund, has raised more than three times as much private sector money as Bridges CDV Fund I. The first fund raised £20 million of private sector investment in 2002 and was backed with matching investment from the Department of Trade and Industry. By contrast, Bridges CDV Fund II is made up entirely from private investment.

Philip Newborough, chief executive of Bridges said: “We are delighted to have significantly exceeded our target for this fund. This has been made possible by the fantastic support we’ve received from our existing investors, which has enabled us to recruit a diverse and impressive group of new investors.  The success of our fundraising indicates a growing interest in investments that can deliver attractive financial returns while making a positive social or environmental impact.”   Investors in the new fund include banks and financial institutions such as HSBC, Co-operative Financial Services, Lloyds TSB, Citigroup and Barclays Business Banking, pension funds such as the Universities Superannuation Scheme and the West Midlands Pension Fund, a number of trusts and endowments such as R&S Cohen Foundation and All Souls College, companies and leaders of the financial sector such as 3i, Doughty Hanson & Co, Lloyd Dorfman, chairman of Travelex, and Jon Moulton, founder and managing partner of Alchemy Partners.

Chris Gill, Head of Investments, Corporate Investment Banking & Markets at HSBC, a returning investor, said:   “HSBC is delighted to continue to support Bridges, as its first fund proved that strong financial returns can be combined with a positive social impact.”
John Reizenstein, CFO at Co-operative Financial Services, a new investor, said:   “Co-operative Financial Services is delighted to be investing in Bridges’ second fund. This is a very exciting opportunity which is aligned with our values of social responsibility.”   Bridges has created an innovative approach to help stimulate economic activity and create jobs in the most deprived areas of the UK by backing entrepreneurial businesses that create jobs and investment. Bridges’ investments now employ over 800 people, nearly 200 were formerly unemployed. In addition to focusing on under-invested geographical areas, the second fund plans to invest up to 25% of the fund in UK businesses that produce strong educational, healthcare or environmental benefits.

Bridges has had three successful exits to date, Harlands of Hull, HS Atec, and SimplySwitch from its portfolio of 24 investments. Other successful investments include early stage businesses such as School Stickers, which produces motivational stickers for teachers; and property-backed businesses like The Office which renovates old freehold buildings in inner city areas, creating flexible office space tailored to the needs of small businesses.
Notes to editors:   

Bridges Ventures     Bridges Ventures is a venture capital company with a social mission set up in 2002. As an investor, it harnesses its commercial expertise to achieve social aims as well as making the highest possible returns.   Bridges Ventures invests in the most deprived 25% of areas in the country, as defined by the Index of Multiple Deprivation. Bridges Ventures’ second fund can also invest in businesses outside these target areas if they demonstrate strong social benefits in healthcare, education or the environment.

Bridges was founded by Apax Partners, Tom Singh of the retail chain New Look, and 3i.   Bridges Ventures invests up to £10m per company in growth companies at the early and expansion stages, as well as management buy-outs and property-backed businesses. Entrepreneurs can find out whether their business is eligible for investment by going to the website www.bridgesventures.com or calling 020 7262 5566.   Bridges Ventures Ltd acts for the funds they manage or advise and not for anyone else. They will not act or be responsible for providing protection afforded to their clients to any one other than such funds. Entrepreneurs and others working with Bridges Ventures Ltd should be aware of this and should not expect that they will be treated as clients of Bridges Ventures Ltd.      

Investors in Bridges CDV Fund II include:  

Banks and financial institutions HSBC Bank plc Co-operative Financial Services Citigroup Barclays Business Banking Lloyds TSB Scotland PLC

Pension Funds West Midlands Pension Fund South Yorkshire Pension Fund Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS)   Trusts SHINE: Support and Help in Education Comic Relief R&S Cohen Foundation
Individuals Dr Mike Lynch OBE Jon Moulton Richard Oldfield Harvey McGrath Lloyd Dorfman Robert and Vincent Tchenguiz Vernon Ellis Sir Harry Solomon   Companies 3i  Doughty Hanson and Co. Wittington Investments Limited   Endowments All Souls College Merton College   Other The Community Development Venture Capital Alliance (the network for the field of community development venture capital (CDVC) investing in the US)

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