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October 4, 2023

BBRC Injects £1 Million to Nurture Bristol's Impactful Business Ecosystem

In a move that's set to fuel Bristol's burgeoning startup landscape, BBRC has injected £1 million of fresh investment

Bristol-based BBRC (Bristol & Bath Regional Capital), a dedicated local impact investor, has just made a bold move by deploying £1 million in fresh investments. The focus? Cultivating early-stage impact-driven businesses in the region.

This substantial funding is part of the broader £10 million City Funds investment initiative, which was unveiled in 2019 within the UK's vibrant startup landscape. City Funds is a unique collaborative effort that brings together investment, grant funding, and support from local authorities. The driving forces behind this groundbreaking partnership include BBRC, Quartet Community Foundation, and Bristol City Council.

City Funds is on a mission to bolster local organizations dedicated to tackling some of Bristol's most pressing challenges. These range from housing scarcity and energy efficiency to community well-being. The newly allocated £1 million from this initiative is earmarked for early-stage impact ventures, which often face hurdles in securing crucial investments. The remaining portion of the fund is geared towards more established businesses seeking growth lending opportunities.

Jari Moate, Investment Director at BBRC, emphasizes the significance of City Funds as one of the first initiatives in the UK to blend investment, grant funding, and local authority support in a coordinated, place-based approach. Moate believes that the venture ecosystem in Bristol holds the key to shaping the city's future, and they want impact-driven ventures to play a central role in that transformation. Hence, the decision to allocate £1 million to support early-stage ventures tackling Bristol's most significant social and environmental issues.

Nick Sturge, Chair of techSPARK, an organization working closely with tech and digital businesses in Bristol, lauds BBRC's proactive approach in supporting mission-led and impactful businesses. Sturge acknowledges the historical difficulties that such businesses have faced when seeking funding and pledges to provide ongoing support to this important cause.

City Funds' venture portfolio has already made noteworthy investments in several local purpose-driven ventures. Some standout examples include:

  1. Albion Technologies: Securing £400,000 from City Funds, Albion Technologies is establishing a manufacturing facility in Bristol, expected to create 90 green jobs over the next five years. The company specializes in battery energy storage systems that enhance the efficiency and stability of renewable energy generation. 
  2. Yuup: With a £200,000 investment, Yuup has expanded its presence in Bristol, growing its service to sell 60,000 experiences annually.
  3. AutonoMe: The AutonoMe app, which offers personalized videos to individuals facing various challenges, received a £150,000 investment in 2022. This enabled the expansion of its workplace support business. 
  4. Service Robotics: This healthtech firm, backed by £250,000 from City Funds, uses local knowledge and specialized remote technology to address the care crisis and combat loneliness among older people. 
  5. Yumello: With a £250,000 investment, the migrant-led Moroccan food business expanded its Bristol headquarters, increased national sales, generated new jobs, and contributed to local food banks with its nut butter products. 
Josefina Dipaolo
Josefina Dipaolo
Content Writer at TechNews180
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