As seen in The Telegraph: find cover from the stock market and invest in private companies
Archived article: please remember tax and investment rules and circumstances can change over time. This article reflects our views at the time of publication.
Earlier this week, The Telegraph ran a feature on alternative investments.
The article covers five opportunities: venture capital trusts Maven Income & Growth VCT and Octopus Titan VCT, and three single company EIS investments: CityUnscripted, a global tours and experiences operator, Firglas, which aims to mass-produce protein from algae, and Wi-5 Technologies, which allows brands to use Wi-Fi hotspots as an advertising and payment channel.
Wealth Club is the only service giving experienced investors access to all five investments.
The Titan of the VCT world
The first VCT mentioned in the article is one you might have heard of before: Octopus Titan VCT.
With more than £615 million of net assets, Octopus Titan is the UK’s largest Venture Capital Trust. Its current portfolio boasts some impressive holdings, with familiar names such as Secret Escapes and graze.com on the books alongside earlier-stage technology-enabled businesses like depop and memrise.
The VCT opened just over a month ago but has already raised nearly 25% of its initial offer.
One of the most popular VCTs
The second VCT mentioned in the article is Maven Income and Growth.
Maven is one of the best regarded VCT managers – and for good reason, in our view. As a counterpoint to Octopus’s focus on technology, at the core of the Maven’s portfolio are a number of decent, mature, often unglamorous, businesses – from the UK’s largest manufacturer of shower trays to a company that provides services to refineries and chemical and petrochemical plants around the world. The exit track record is impressive: 15 since January 2014, with an average return multiple of 3.3x – although please note, past performance is not a guide to the future. Annual performance figures are available on the Maven Income and Growth VCTs page.
CityUnscripted EIS – an investment in "personalised travelling"
Bored of feeling like a tourist when you visit a new city? That’s exactly how Nick Whitfield, keen traveller and CEO of CityUnscripted, felt after an uninspiring trip to Paris. Nick founded CityUnscripted when he realised that an authentic experience was key to feeling like a local.
The idea is simple: to replicate that ‘friend in the city’ experience. Travellers are paired with a local guide who provides a personalised tour. The reception has been overwhelmingly positive so far, with an average review rating of 4.9/5 and an impressive re-booking rate of 40%.
So far, the business has grown impressively well in our view, on just £473k of seed funding. Monthly bookings are around 500 per month and the company is cash positive with a good profit margin. With 5.9 billion people expected to travel by 2030, CityUnscripted could be well placed to take advantage of the market boom – although remember like all EIS and small company investments it has a high failure risk and capital is at risk
CityUnscripted is raising £1 million under EIS to develop IT and marketing and to accelerate its growth. This private single company offer is available exclusively through Wealth Club.
Limited availability – £450k reserved already
A response to the global protein crisis
The second company mentioned in the Telegraph article is Firglas. Firglas is an algae production company aiming to help tackle the protein crisis by offering a sustainable meat-free alternative.
It has developed a proven process and is now looking to scale the business by building two new production sites in the Netherlands and in Spain.
Limited availability – only £700k remaining.
Turning Wi-Fi hotspots into advertising channels
The last EIS offer is Wi-5 Technologies, a private offer arranged by West Hill Capital. The company has developed advanced technology that allows brands to use Wi-Fi hotspots as an advertising and payment channel. One example could be restaurant diners being able to order and pay for their food or receive personalised advertisements just by connecting to a Wi-5 supported hotspot.
The first trial is due to start in January 2019 with Yo! Sushi restaurants, however, discussions are also underway with Wagamama, Byron, Zizzi, Ask and the Emirates Stadium.
The offer has already attracted interest and has very limited capacity.
[Link removed at company’s request]