Socially responsible exit

Bridges Community Ventures has sold SimplySwitch, a price comparison service for household utilities, to The Daily Mail and General Trust for £22m. Bridges’ initial commitment was £125,000, which was later followed by £220,000, bringing the group’s total investment to £345,000. Bridges exit from SimplySwitch will return £7.5m which represents a money multiple of 22x and IFF of 165% to investors. This deal marks the second exit for Bridges CDV Fund I.

Launched in 2002, Bridges was the UK’s first community development venture capital company. It invests in the most under-invested parts of the country and aims to generate positive social impact as well as attractive financial returns. The fund raised £40m in funds, £20m from the private sector and £20m in the form of matched investment from the Government.

SimplySwitch was the first service of its kind to be accessible by telephone as well as the web, making it easier for those who lack the resources or know-how to go online to save money on their household bills.