back to article UK government to take equity in struggling startups with £250m 'Future fund'

The UK government will throw £1.25bn at startups and R&D firms that are struggling to survive in the coronavirus lockdown and are willing to pay well-above-market interest rates and give away equity in exchange for a fiscal lifeline. The plan, announced on Monday by the Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak, will see the …

  1. Richard 12 Silver badge

    8%!?

    Wow. Typical rates for unsecured loans are supposedly around 4-6% unless I'm reading the tea leaves wrong.

    Is Sunak selling bonds in this scheme, and who to? Feels like somebody must be hoping to make a mint...

    1. Chris G Silver badge

      Re: 8%!?

      Exactly!

      This is not very supportive when its at 8% and only over three years.

    2. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Re: 8%!?

      Agreed. Loans for the housing market are at around 2%. I don't see anyone applying for this, banks can already offer a better deal.

      1. Jimmy2Cows Silver badge

        Re: 8%!?

        But look. Look!! They're doing something to help startups. Just don't look behind the curtain, there's nothing interesting there. Nosiree.

        Ignore that anyone would need to be mad and desperate to take those terms.

        Ignore the Chancellor knowing that full well.

        As with all this government's promises around COVID-19 (e.g. see the PPE promises) this is all about appearances, not about being actually helpful. Helping costs money. Lip service is free.

        1. Version 1.0 Silver badge

          Re: 8%!?

          It's now the Conservative Organized Venture Investment Department government. They were going to charge 19% but Rishi Sunak pointed out that the name might be embarrassing.

          It's just standard Venture Capitalist terms.

      2. AMBxx Silver badge

        Re: 8%!?

        Housing market loans are secured against the house, so much less risky.

        For my business, I'm regularly offered loans at less than 1%. Small print is that the directors are giving a personal guarantee - that means my house is on the line.

        Car loans for £20k are easily available at 4% (ish) as the monthly repayments are nice and low and tend to be repaid.

        The 8% is for a risky startup - I'd want more than that if I was lending money to a startup. Wouldn't you?

        1. Roland6 Silver badge

          Re: 8%!?

          >The 8% is for a risky startup

          But looking at the other T's & C's; not that risky.

          The real risk is that these business will have insufficient funding to not only last 3 years but also to have money in the bank to pay the accrued interest.

    3. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
      Big Brother

      Re: 8%!?

      Startups are risky by their very nature.

      However that is still 1% less than the Ford Motor Company (USA) borrowed at last week.

      I don't think that is bad then. Mind you Ford is a dead man walking these days so perhaps 8% is a bit OTT.

    4. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

      Re: 8% ‽ Venture Capital Angel Investors Step Right this Way Please

      Crikey, I don't know why everyone fixates on their having to be extra money made by themselves to hand back much more to systems in the future than is granted in the present, whenever y'all know that last month there was practically nothing for virtually anything and yet now someone/something has decided there be tens of scores of trillions in cash to be given away ........ fiat paper printed and/or instantly lodged into special valuable vehicle current accounts for extensive smarter spending by central banks' customer clients ....... because of an unforeseen and unplanned international emergency ...... akin to a novel Orwellian alien adventure.

      The problems are not that there is never enough money, for there is always more than enough money easily available practically anywhere than will ever be needed for anything, it is just resting or been deposited with all the wrong sort of people and establishments.

      And that is the first simple idiotic mistake made, described and highlighted right there.

      The second simple idiotic mistake easily made is to deny it be true and argue against the premise.

  2. Shadow Systems Silver badge

    Can I get a mere £1M?

    I promise to put it to good use, help improve the economy, and do my part to ease the strain of the current crisis.

    (I'll blow it all on blackjack, beer, & hookers!)

    *Holds hand out in hopeful expectation*

    1. Blofeld's Cat Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Can I get a mere £1M?

      "... I'll blow it all on blackjack, beer, & hookers! ..."

      I like that business plan, but I suspect that your application will be unsuccessful as you're neither a multinational nor a major charity.

  3. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    WTF! You call that a plan?

    The UK government will throw £1.25bn at startups and R&D firms that are struggling to survive in the coronavirus lockdown and are willing to pay well-above-market interest rates and give away equity in exchange for a fiscal lifeline. The plan, announced on Monday by the Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak,...

    How the fcuk have y'all arrived at the stage where you listen to such incompetent parasites, expecting them to lead anyone with anything to greener fields? And are you the bigger idiot so easily fooled that they are relying on to survive and prosper, for they are not really struggling, are they, other than failing to energise a viable novel future narrative ?

    And don't answer that if you are easily depressed because you expected the future to be different and better rather than worse and similar with more of the same old guff presented daily in missing news briefings.

    Dick Turpin at least wore a mask before he robbed folk of their valuables.

    And of course Collective Cabinet Responsibility paints the bigger picture targets for prime attention? Way to go, Boris ..... it's all downhill quickly from here if things are not fundamentally changed from pathetic to seismic.

    1. Blofeld's Cat Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: WTF! You call that a plan?

      I think you'll find that the "greener fields" are currently closed to enforce social-distancing.

      1. Jimmy2Cows Silver badge

        Re: WTF! You call that a plan?

        Not at all. In another totally not-contraditory edict from gov, UK parks must remain open even though no one's allowed to gather in them.

        1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
          Facepalm

          Re: UK parks must remain open

          Unless you are in Middleborough then.

          https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-tees-52345266

          1. IGotOut Silver badge
            Happy

            Re: UK parks must remain open

            The downsides of rural life: Broadband so shitty that even on the lowest settings video chat constantly freezes.

            The upside if rural life: A 10 mile walk and only passed 10 people. 2m distancing, pah, try 2km.

            1. Roland6 Silver badge
              Pint

              Re: UK parks must remain open

              >2m distancing, pah, try 2km.

              Misread that as being 2 miles distancing, so scratched my head at the mention of trying 2km.

            2. Mike 137 Silver badge

              Re: UK parks must remain open

              "The downsides of rural life"

              You don't have to be rural. A couple of miles outside the M25, I can't use online conferencing at all, as it doesn't keep freezing, it just never gets started (430 kilobit down. 170 kilobit up broadband.). And of course we're much more crowded.

  4. IGotOut Silver badge

    Did I read right?

    Deliveroo are wanting bailouts?

    A home delivery company needs a hand out when everyone is stuck at own?

    There is a company doomed to fail.

    Next news, Amazon pay 5p tax, because we're Covid, yes Covid.

    1. Peter2 Silver badge

      Re: Did I read right?

      Deliveroo runs at a perpetual recorded loss. This is either to wipe out the competition by under charging until the competition is all dead, at which point they can stick their prices up or creative accounting to avoid paying any tax. Either shouldn't be receiving any money in support.

      The other point is that deliveroo was founded in 2013 (so now 7 years old) has over 300 full time staff on the books (250 is the limit for an SME before you become a full size enterprise) as well as thousands upon thousands of people contracting to do work for them on unfair terms in the "gig economy", eg "method of employing people on less than the minimum wage with no employment rights, eg holidays, sick pay etc". Also no tax paid.

      Not only should they be allowed to go bust, personally I think they should be helped along the way along with as many similar companies as possible. It's not as if what they are doing is particularly unique.

  5. andy 103 Silver badge
    Meh

    Well if they would collect tax of larger corporations...

    I don't want to be one of those people but if the government did more about large corporations and dodgy tax strategies then they could do more to help smaller companies and startups.

    Sorry but you can't have it both ways. If the government are saying we're a nation of talented people and want to see startups flourish then this sort of "offer" is at best insulting and at worst one nobody would want to take up. Yes startups are risky, but the alternative of - nobody ever trying anything innovative - isn't exactly desirable either.

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