Ascension Ventures latest SEIS & EIS offerings
Ascension Ventures latest offerings, the ASCEND SEIS IV and CENTAUR EIS funds, will be closing over the next 2 weeks. The two distinct funds, which will be investing in the 2017/18 tax year, give individuals the opportunity to diversify their portfolio across a number of exciting handpicked early-stage digital media and tech businesses, whilst also taking advantage of the generous (S)EIS tax benefits.
The ASCEND SEIS Fund IV will be looking to invest £100,000 into 14 businesses, between May 2017 and March 2018. The CENTAUR EIS Fund will be looking to invest £250,000 into a portfolio of 10 businesses in the seed+ category (Post Seed/Series A) over the same period. Both funds will have a co-investment philosophy, with the ASCEND focusing on seed rounds of approximately £300,000 and the CENTAUR on seed+ rounds of between £600,000 to £1.5m.
Ascension Ventures has over 40 companies in its portfolio, across 4 Funds; investee businesses include Vidsy, Albert, Moteefe, WeGift, A Millions Ads, Edukit, GetAgent and more. From the ASCEND SEIS II (fully invested in March 2016), 5 of the portfolio of 16 companies have already gone on to raise significant follow-on funding rounds (from £350k-£1.8m), the post seed/pre-Series A space that the CENTAUR EIS Fund operates within.
Ascension Ventures CEO Jean de Fougerolles commented:
“The disruptive effects of digital technology and impact on consumer behaviour continues to present ever-increasing opportunities for new ventures in the digital media and technology sectors. London is an internationally renowned centre for talented entrepreneurs in these sectors, and we strongly believe that the success of our SEIS Funds’ supports this. Having a broad and diversified portfolio of (S)EIS companies provides individuals access to early-stage businesses from Seed to Series A investment, and through to exit.”
From the ASCEND SEIS II & III, Ascension led around 70% of investment rounds (30 investments), providing around 31% of the total round size (ASCEND invested approximately £85,000 per deal) and co-invested alongside key angels and other VCs – co-investors include high profile angels, the London Co-Invest Fund, Amadeus Capital, Mangrove, LocalGlobe, Fuel Ventures, Seedcamp, Finance Birmingham and more. Alongside this, Ascension is supported by a large network of industry leading mentors: Peter Cowley, ex MD of Endemol Digital; Howard Litton, ex MD Nickelodeon; PJ Sebert, ex MD Eurosport; Mark Wood, ex CEO Future Publishing and ITN; Jon Gisby, ex MD Yahoo; and more.
Digital (S)EIS Certificates
After the Funds’ invest in a (S)EIS qualifying business, our team assists the portfolio company with its SEIS/EIS application for certificates, which includes a requirement, within the investment documents, to apply to HMRC within 30 days of the investment (assuming HMRC’s criteria has been met). Once the company has received the certificates from HMRC, our team then sends the certificates, by post, to the investors in the Fund. Having dealt with this process for the past 4 years, we have found that it can be inefficient as the paper certificates need to be stored in a safe place by investors so that they are not lost. This has led to investors misplacing certificates and the occasional breakdown in communication between them and their advisors; with additional time spent on replacing the original copies. In reality, paper tax certificates are only needed by HMRC when they explicitly request them, and the information contained in them is only needed when filling in the claim form, e.g. when there are capital gains. Therefore, we are pleased to announce that every investor in the ASCEND IV and CENTAUR EIS Funds’ will now receive a digital certificate via a secure folder (“Ascension Portal”), which will enable investors to keep track of what certificates they have received (downloadable PDF’s will be made available).
However, Digital (S)EIS certificates don’t replace paper certificates (although HMRC are working on digitising the whole process) and investors will still be posted the hard copy, but the Ascension Portal will enable investors in the Funds’ to keep track of every certificate they have been issued, along with their Portfolio Updates, Portfolio Valuations and additional information on portfolio companies raising their next rounds of funding.
Both funds will close for new subscriptions in May and further information on these two fund offerings can be accessed through a digital portal here.