June 24, 2022

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JamJar Investments to boost UK startups with £48m taxpayer backing

2 min read

A £100 million venture fund launched by the founders of Innocent smoothies has secured £48 million in public money to invest in next-generation UK consumer brand businesses.

Jon Wright, Rich Reed and Adam Balon have invested up to £5 million a year since 2013 in start-ups such as Deliveroo and Babylon Health, drawing on the proceeds of the sale of Innocent to Coca-Cola that year.

Their team at JamJar Investments, which includes partner Katie Marraché, have now raised a second fund of more than £100 million, including the £48 million from the British Business Bank’s enterprise capital funds — making JamJar the largest such fund to date.

Reed, 49, said: “The heart of the fund — half the money — is the great British taxpayer. Our job is to take the UK taxpayers’ money, use it to help create the next wave of UK-based entrepreneurs that are going to create UK jobs, UK wealth and UK opportunities, and return a profit to the UK taxpayer. Whoever thought of that deserves a knighthood because it is properly good thinking.”

He added: “Why us? We have a track record of doing it with our own money. We showed them the performance of our fund, the methodology. I can say this on behalf of the great British taxpayer, no one has put us through a greater due diligence process than the British Business Bank.

“They really, properly, deeply check out everything that you say; that you have delivered what you said; they speak to so many people in your network to make sure you are honest, hardworking and reliable. They do not sit there and listen to the pitch. It was an 18-month due diligence process, as well it should be.”

JamJar was an early investor in four unicorns — companies valued at more than $1 billion — such as Deliveroo, Babylon Health, Oatly and ManyPets, the new name for pet insurer BoughtbyMany. It also backed Tails.com, the subscription dog food business that sold a majority stake for a “handsome” sum to Nestle in 2018.

Reed said that he,…

Business Matters

2022-04-06 04:18:30

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