Braveheart launches new fund

Perth, Scotland-based Braveheart Ventures has launched a new fund called the Alpha EIS Fund, which is a tax efficient investment scheme that will make investments in university spin-out companies.

Braveheart has framework arrangements with seven Scottish universities under the SMART: Scotland and the Proof of Concept grant schemes.

Participants in the fund are expected to include Bank of Scotland Corporate, NESTA, Scottish Enterprise and Braveheart’s private client investors. Alpha EIS aims to create a minimum of 10 EIS qualifying investments and once the fund is fully invested, Braveheart plans to launch a follow-on fund.

For private investors the minimum subscription is10 units of £1,117 each, and thereafter subscriptions can increase in multiples of five units. EIS, which stands for Enterprise Investment Scheme, is a long-used UK scheme that allows investors to offset 20% of the cost of each investment against income tax, shelter capital gains and offset losses against gains or income tax.

And profitable exits are exempt from capital gains tax, providing the investment remains a ‘qualifying’ investment throughout a three-year holding period and investments are free of inheritance tax if held for two years.

Braveheart CEO Geoffrey Thomson says that in November last year Bank of Scotland Corporate acquired a 10% stake in Braveheart. Braveheart was established in 1997 by four Scottish businessmen, who created a co-investment vehicle for their own investment funds.

The company now has over 90 investors and 50 shareholders and its funds invested total approximately £40m.