London Stock Exchange welcomes Forward Partners to AIM
Founded in 2013, Forward Partners is a well-established and respected London-based venture capital firm, specialising in supporting high growth, early-stage technology businesses. The Group brings together venture capital provider Forward Ventures, equity-free revenue-based financing through Forward Advances and highly specialised growth support from Forward Studio. This model supports founders to build stronger businesses and meet strategic goals faster – ultimately aiming to provide better outcomes for companies and investors alike.
The Group has historically made 65 unique equity investments in early-stage, high growth UK companies (which includes Forward Advances), of which nine have been realised, and has built a portfolio that has an Initial Portfolio NAV of c.£103.0 million as of 31 March 2021. It holds an eight-year track record of making venture capital investments, with a Gross IRR of 25.4% over that period to 31 March 2021. The management team brings together highly experienced venture capitalists, entrepreneurs, and expert consultants. Since 2015, Forward Partners has been backed by BlackRock, one of the largest institutional investors in the world.
Forward Partners has announced the admission of its entire issued and to be issued share capital to trading on AIM of London Stock Exchange.
The issue of the Placing Shares and the Offer Shares raises gross proceeds of £36.5 million for the Company. The Proceeds will principally be used to make future investments in line with the Company’s investing policy; to fund the lending activities of Forward Advances, the Group’s revenue-based financing business; and to provide working capital for the Group’s growth plans.
Based on the Placing Price, the market capitalisation of the Company on Admission will be approximately £134.6 million.
On Admission, the Group’s portfolio will comprise 46 equity investments in early-stage, high growth UK companies, with an investing strategy focused on businesses with operating models that leverage eCommerce, marketplace and applied artificial intelligence technology.
Nic Brisbourne, Chief Executive Officer of Forward Partners, said: "Today is an exciting day for Forward Partners and a true testament to the hard work our team has put in helping exceptional entrepreneurs build extraordinary companies over the last eight years. We are thrilled to be listing in London, a global centre of technology, innovation and venture capital. It is a rarity to see retail investors accessing venture capital on equal terms as institutional investors and we are pleased to have delivered on our mission to democratise access to high growth, UK technology startups. As a public company, we can now provide long term support to startups who are finding solutions to the challenges that we face, providing a critical engine of growth to turbocharge the UK's economic recovery."
Advisors on the transaction included Maitland/AMO(PR advisors), Liberum(Nominated Advisor and Sole Broker) and Gowling(Legal advisor to the Company).