The Future Fund: Under the Doormat CEO Merilee Karr shares her experiences of accessing the fund during the pandemic
In May the Government launched the £500 million Future Fund to help innovative and high-growth British businesses secure investment through the Coronavirus pandemic.
UK-based companies in a wide range of sectors can apply for a convertible loan of between £125,000 and £5 million to help support their continued growth and innovation. One company that has closed a funding round through the Future Fund scheme is Under the Doormat, a company that offers luxury short-term and vacation rentals across London.
Recently we sat down with Under the Doormat’s Founder and CEO, Merilee Karr, to find out about her experience accessing the Future Fund and to discuss how she’s pivoted to further grow her business during the pandemic.
Discussing the process for exploring if the Future Fund was right for her business, Merilee shares:
“Once the criteria for what you needed to meet as a company was clear – we had raised over £2 million of capital previously – we (realised we) met all the various criteria they required.”
She always opened up about what she liked about the fund and the opportunities it presented to help her business.
“Convertible loans aren’t for everyone, and the structure of the Future Fund might not be for everyone. What we liked about it was the three-year time horizon. For us, we actually didn’t have an emergency need for funding, we were actually looking at the Future Fund as growth capital. What was important for me, was knowing this crisis wasn’t going to be short-lived. My worry was that in 6 months or 12 months’ time, the investment climate might not be right for raising investment. What I wanted to do was secure investment now through the Future Fund as a small top-up round so we would have more flexibility when we needed to go out to the market in the future. That was our strategy and for us, that worked very well.”
Over the course of the chat, Merilee also discusses setting up Under the Doormat, talks about the business’ growth journey and shares some tips for those considering accessing the Future Fund.
Watch the full fireside chat with Merilee below: