Great Point Ventures EIS Fund
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The Great Point Ventures EIS Fund invests in the UK creative industry. Its focus is not only on the creation of media and entertainment content, but also on its distribution, production and new media technologies. Great Point aims to back media businesses with attractive intellectual property (IP) that it believes can generate returns.
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- Invests in the UK creative media and entertainment sector
- Four key areas covered: content creation, distribution, production and new media
- New fund from a highly experienced and well-connected media team
- Target return 2x (excluding tax relief) with the aim to achieve an exit in 4-6 years, not guaranteed
- Minimum four portfolio companies (not guaranteed) with advance assurance
- Investments should be deployed within 18 months, not guaranteed
- Minimum investment £10,000
The manager is Great Point Investments, part of Great Point Media Group.
Great Point Media is a specialist media business that invests in the global media and entertainment sector. It has good industry relationships with Creative England and the BFI (British Film Institute). The management team has first-hand knowledge of the financial, operational and commercial aspects of the sector. As an example, one of the directors, Robert Halmi, was CEO of four publicly listed entertainment conglomerates and served as Chairman of Crown Media, Inc. where he founded the US television network, Hallmark Channel, which now broadcasts to over 80 million homes. Other members of the team are also very experienced.
Great Point Media backs high-quality television films, series, and mini-series – indeed it has over 400 production credits in film and TV. Recent projects include Line of Duty series 3 and 4, The Cry, starring Jenna Coleman, and Manhunt, starring Martin Clunes. Its projects have featured on UK broadcast television, US cable networks, online streaming services and at world-class film festivals.
Great Point Media also has a growing music business. This includes established US labels and new artists such as Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats, whose single “S.O.B”. reached the top 20 in the US Billboard 200 chart.
Great Point has managed over £250 million of investment into EIS qualifying companies to date, under previous EIS rules.
The Great Point Ventures Fund aims to invest in creative businesses. A content creation company is an obvious candidate for investment, the fund will also invest in content distribution and marketing, production facilities and services, as well as new media and technology.
Importantly, the fund will not finance specific film projects, as was typically the case with media EIS offers previously.
Target companies must have the potential to address large new markets or disrupt existing ones and should be led by entrepreneurial teams with a proven track record.
Intellectual property is key. This is where much of the value lies in the film and TV industry. The media rights to a successful TV series can be sold on and on.
The target return is 2x after tax relief, and not guaranteed. Potential exit routes include trade sales, management buyouts, IPO or a combination. Please note, exit options and timeframes are not guaranteed.
The UK content sector is growing at twice the rate of the UK economy. The fund looks for content creation businesses in filmed entertainment, gaming and music. The remit is nationwide, not just London. Indeed, companies from the “Nations and Regions” can be attractive because Ofcom, the regulator, imposes quotas on Public Service Broadcasters to ensure a proportion of programmes are made in the UK outside the M25. An example of a recent investment made by the fund is Seven Seas Films, based in Bristol (see portfolio examples below).
Content distribution and marketing
The fund will also invest in businesses that distribute and market content. It believes local distribution and marketing play an important part in monetising content.
Production facilities and services
The UK is an attractive
place to produce, thanks to its tax credit incentives and skilled UK crews. The
fund will look at studio facilities, post-production and visual effects
businesses as well as providers of specialist equipment.
New media and technology
The fund will invest in emerging tech and media startups. Think gaming, apps, VR (virtual reality) and AR (augmented reality).
The fund targets a return of 2x (before tax relief) after four to six years. Returns and timeframes are not guaranteed.
The fund aims to deliver investors’ returns through either a sale to third parties, management, other shareholders or another investment fund following a period of at least four to six years from when the investment was made in each company – not guaranteed.
The fund has to date made six investments since launch in 2018.
Below are portfolio company examples from previous iterations of the fund. They are outlined to give a flavour of the types of companies you might expect but are unlikely to be part of a new investor's portfolio.
Seven Seas Films Limited (creative content)
Seven Seas Films is an independent TV production company based in Bristol. It was founded by Dan Sefton and Simon Lupton. Dan has written for shows such as Good Karma Hospital (BBC) and Trust Me (ITV). Simon has been a commissioner for BBC Comedy, UKTV and Comedy Central. Seven Seas recently teamed with BBC Studios for a drama series about the final months of Marilyn Monroe.
Great Point invested in May 2019. The capital will be used for overheads to scale the business and enable development of future projects.
Looper Insights Limited (future media and technology)
Looper Insights provides Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) technology to help film and TV companies grow their VOD (video on demand) revenues and manage their brands.
Looper offers a single interface to track film and TV titles, alongside merchandising and promotions, across transactional stores and markets. The company aims to deliver a 10% increase in client sales by ensuring vendors of media content have the best product, page, price, placement, promotion and therefore performance on all available platforms.
invested in April 2019. The capital raised by the company will be used to scale
the business and accelerate the development of Looper Insights into other areas
such as the theatre, ebooks, video games and music.
McKellen: Playing the Part (example of previous failure)
As is to be expected, not all investments will work out. One such investment was held in a previous Great Point SEIS fund (made under older rules but where there was significant risk to capital).
Great Point invested, via its Select Media SEIS 6 fund, in a film called McKellen: Playing the Part. This was a documentary about Sir Ian McKellen, starring the actor himself. The film had access to private photo albums, a wealth of archive material, childhood diaries, and exclusive behind the scenes of theatre shows and films. However, the sales market was not as strong as initially anticipated, despite the film receiving critical acclaim. Whilst the project should generate further income over the longer term, the investment was partially written down to reflect its initial sales performance.
Risks – important
This, like all investments available through Wealth Club, is only for experienced investors happy to make their own investment decisions without advice.
SEIS and EIS investments are high-risk so should only form part of a balanced portfolio and you should not invest money you cannot afford to lose. They also tend to be illiquid and hard to sell and value. Before you invest, please carefully read the Risks and Commitments and the offer documents to ensure you fully understand the risks.
Tax rules can change and benefits depend on circumstances.
This fund invests in early-stage businesses which are more likely to fail than larger ones, so you should expect a number of failures in the portfolio.
This is a relatively concentrated portfolio of unquoted media companies. This is a competitive market and the companies may not produce the desired returns. There is limited diversification and the total return could be adversely affected by the poor performance of a small number of portfolio companies.
A summary of the main charges and savings is shown below. The net initial charge shown includes the Wealth Club saving and any early bird discount. The investment may have additional charges and expenses: please see the provider documents including the Key Information Document for more details.
|Full initial charge||2%|
|Wealth Club initial saving||—|
|Net initial charge through Wealth Club||2%||Annual management charge||—|
|Performance fee||20%||Investee company charges|
More detail on the charges
Timing of the offer
The fund anticipates taking up to 18 months to fully deploy investor capital following the closing dates. However, it may take longer.
The fund invests in a range of aspects of the UK creative content industry: a market that is booming and growing at twice the rate of the general UK economy. The team is very experienced and has a strong network in the media industry. The first investments in this new fund seem to be encouraging, although there are no guarantees.
Wealth Club aims to make it easier for experienced investors to find information on – and apply for – tax-efficient investments. You should base your investment decision on the provider's documents and ensure you have read and fully understand them before investing. This review is a marketing communication. It is not advice or a personal or research recommendation to buy the investment mentioned. It does not satisfy legal requirements promoting investment research independence and is thus not subject to prohibitions on dealing ahead of its dissemination.
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