BGF Venture Fund

The Business Growth Fund was set up by government in 2011, with money from the banks. It provides growth capital to profitable, mid-sized companies. In 2015 it announced a move into venture, with a
£200m allocation and some industry pro’s to head it up. They tell me the focus is unlikely to be on very early-stage, small projects, but larger and/or later stage, where momentum and scalability are supported with good evidence.

£200m venture fund

“BGF is an investment firm that provides growth capital for ambitious entrepreneurs running growing UK companies. Our job is to support talented management teams and business leaders achieve their full potential by offering three magic ingredients for success:

  • Substantial capital
  • Superb contacts
  • Sound counsel

BGF is already the most active growth capital investor for smaller and midsized UK companies. We are well placed to support companies financially, operationally, and strategically. We can help you develop a growth strategy that is organic, achieved via acquisition, or both.”

BGF are looking for management teams with a good track record, a proven business model and a desire to grow.

They look for:

  • Exceptional founding teams with long-term vision
  • Innovative products that could change an industry(or create a new one)
  • Large and ideally global addressable market
  • Promising early customer engagement & feedback
  • Exceptional growth
  • Highly scalable and defensible business models

  • BGF provide early feedback and make practical suggestions for alternative options if they cannot invest themselves.
  • They undertake due diligence on all investments, but they make this streamlined and cost effective by being very focused.
  • BGF can structure their investments in ordinary shares, loan stock, preference shares or a combination, and will consider a small element of cash-out from their investment for existing shareholders.
  • Typically a three-month process: 4–6 weeks to understand your business and funding needs, 4–6 weeks to complete their investment

Example companies


The online tool that brings together teachers, students and parents. Set homework, track progress, share resources and engage parents.

Why they invested

“There are lots of apps and platforms for schools out there but Firefly has created a complete platform that integrates reminders, messaging, homework setting activities and learning resources.”


Gousto, the U.K. cook-at-home recipe kit service that competes most directly with Rocket Internet’s HelloFresh.


An all-in-one design platform that aims to make design and prototyping possible for everyone. It’s used by individual designers and teams to help companies put design at the heart of the organisation.

Why they invested

“We’ve watched Murat, Brendan and Jonathan build this business over the last few years and are extremely proud to be joining them on the Marvel journey. We love their obsession with product and their affinity for users. Amazing things happen when technology is used to simplify creative processes and we believe Marvel has the ability to transform the way individuals and teams create great products on a global basis. This is exactly the type of ambition we like to back at BGF Ventures and we look forward to helping the team scale up a business that already has an impressive and loyal user base.”