SIS Ventures aiming to raise up to £5m to help propel high-impact businesses

SIS Ventures, which describes itself as Scotland’s leading impact investor, is seeking to raise up to £5 million via a second round of fundraising to scale up its support for high-impact-potential, early-stage businesses.

It says its Impact First fund lets investors make tax-efficient financial returns alongside impact returns by injecting equity into Scotland-based businesses whose social and environmental contribution is aligned to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Additionally, the fund has already invested about £1.3m into eight high-impact and high-growth-potential businesses and continues to deploy £5m of Scottish Government funding into a “strong pipeline of impactful businesses”.

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From left: David Ovens, chair of SIS Ventures; Alastair Davis, chief executive at Social Investment Scotland; and Jill Arnold, head of SIS Ventures. Picture: contributed.
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SIS Ventures also said each business is led by a “unique” mission, including, for example, providing earlier diagnosis for life-limiting diseases such as cancer (Dxcover Limited) and Parkinson’s (Manus Neurodynamica).

It continued by saying that the second Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) fundraise presents an opportunity for investors to support both existing Impact First investees to grow through follow-on funding rounds, as well as invest in new, early-stage businesses. The minimum investment sought from investors is £20,000, with each party invested in at least eight businesses over seven to ten years.

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SIS Ventures chair David Ovens said: "Impact First is developing an impressive track record, a strong pipeline and a worthy reputation as the leading investor in this space. I hope that the fundraising will be well supported by those who share our mission to create an impact economy.”

Jill Arnold, head of SIS Ventures, also commented: “Demand for investment funding from mission-led entrepreneurs has surpassed all of our expectations. Since launching Impact First, we have proved without doubt that there is more than sufficient appetite for such a fund among highly ambitious businesses with aspirations for growth.

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“We also know that in recent years impact investing has soared in popularity among the global investor community. While many have adopted a ‘wait and see’ approach, based on the relative scarcity of evidence to support an impact-first investment approach, with our first portfolio of investments almost complete, we are now able to more visibly prove the investment case.

"Despite the challenges presented by Covid-19, all investees are performing well, and there are emerging signs of strong exit potential.”

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