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Braveheart invests in tech through Viking EIS fund

Braveheart Investment Group is focusing its Viking growth fund on unquoted companies mainly in the technology sector.

Braveheart was founded in 1997 and is a specialist in unquoted technology investments. This EIS fund is diversified across companies of all stages of development and within technology sector in areas such as software & computer services, hardware & equipment and healthcare equipment & services. It will look for companies with the potential to grow on a global basis. Investments will be Investments will be made in follow-up opportunities in firms in which Braveheart already invests, and in new opportunities.

Suitable investment opportunities are found through the firm’s relationships with universities and science parks, as well as contacts in venture capital, banking, financial and investment institutions, and the firm’s clients.

Companies that are looking for investment from Braveheart need to demonstrate they have unique intellectual property and/or knowledge, a significant market need for their products or services, that the potential returns are in line with the risk that will be taken and that an exit plan is in place. The firm considers investments where the management team is partly formed and in this situation, will fill any gaps from its own contacts and client base.

Braveheart’s investment team typically reviews around 400 investment proposals a year and around 10 per cent progress to a first meeting. Further meetings are held before an investment decision is reached and new investments must be approved by Braveheart’s chief executive Geoffrey Thomson and chief investment officer Carolyn Smith. Thomson and Smith have worked together at Braveheart  for 11 years

Once terms for a new investment are agreed, due diligence is carried out which includes out a detailed review of the strengths of the management team. Investments in to growing companies are usually between £50,000 and £1m and the firm provides on-going support and follow-on funding to companies as they grow.

The fund will aim to achieve exits from its investment in three to five years, but may be earlier if suitably attractive investment opportunities are found. It is intended that the EIS fund will be wound up at the end of year five.

High-net worth clients that are looking for EIS tax relief may find this EIS fund attractive. However, potential investors are always warned not to let the tax tail wag the investment dog. They will need to take on board that the potentially high rewards of investing in unquoted technology investments are matched by potentially higher risks.

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