The Downing Ventures EIS portfolio invests in early stage companies in areas like enterprise software, health technology and e-commerce. The Downing Ventures EIS was previously known as the Downing Growth EIS Fund 4.
- Early-stage high-growth EIS portfolio
- Investors are
expected to hold ten to fifteen EIS qualifying companies
- Focus on enterprise software (SaaS), health technology and e-commerce
- Minimum investment £15,000
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Downing LLP is an established manager of VCTs, EIS and IHT products. Most of its investment strategies have been conservative to date, however changes to VCT and EIS rules means it is now focussing on growth capital opportunities for new investment.
Downing has three main sources of investment opportunities for the Ventures fund. The first is the range of Downing VCTs, which co-invest alongside the Ventures EIS fund and allows Downing to provide substantial funding support to investee firms. Secondly, Downing has a network of VC funds across the UK, Europe and the States including Unilever Ventures, Balderton Capital and BGF Ventures. Downing has also built partnerships with government agencies, including the European Space Agency and the London Co-Investment Fund.
The fund seeks to invest £500,000 to £1 million in early-stage businesses, often as part of larger rounds alongside co-investors. It focusses on a broad range of sectors, including enterprise software, health technology and e-commerce.
Downing looks for talented entrepreneurs; early traction; defensible
technology or strategy; businesses that are ready to scale; and a large addressable
market. Companies will typically be at a stage where they have launched a
product, are generating some revenue, and have a strong management team and
Examples of portfolio companies
Previous investments made by the Downing Ventures team include Live Better With, MoveGB and Open Bionics. Please note, these are examples only: new investments may be made in other companies.
Live Better With
Livebetterwith is an e-commerce healthcare platform helping people with long-term medical conditions live better through non-medical products. It has created an online marketplace for products for people living with cancer. Products tackle common problems, from night sweats to nausea or hair loss, with the aim to make day‐to‐day life better for patients. The company launched in the UK and the US, with offices in London and New York. Downing-managed funds have invested a total of £1.1 million in the company to date.
Move GB gives individuals access to thousands of gyms, pools and studios all under one membership. It was named the third fastest growing tech company in the UK in the Deloitte Fast 50 in November 2017.
Open Bionics is a Bristol start-up that is developing a new wave of advanced bionic hands and arms. The company uses 3D printing and scanning technology to produce custom-made prosthetics at a lower manufacturing cost than usual, in an area considered an expensive area of prosthetics. Its first commercial product, the Hero Arm, secured commercial licenses from Disney, Marvel and Pixar to design arms for children with themes from Star Wars, Frozen and the Marvel Universe. Downing-managed funds invested alongside Foresight Williams Technology EIS Fund, Ananda Impact Ventures and Rathbone Nominees.
Risks – important
This, like all investments available through Wealth Club, is only for experienced investors happy to make their own investment decisions without advice.
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 EIS 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.
Fees & charges
A summary of the fees and charges is shown below.
|Investee company initial charge||2%|
|Performance fee||20 to 30%|
More detail on the charges
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- Target return
- Funds raised / sought
- £12.5 million raised
- Minimum investment