Forward Partners to float on AIM

Forward Partners, a London-based venture capital firm, is to to seek admission of its shares to trading on AIM, a market of the London Stock Exchange (Admission).

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. It 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.

Becoming a public company will enable the Group to progress its vision for the future of early-stage venture capital, by offering innovative funding options for founders alongside specialist support.

The Group secured early commitments from investors pursuant to the Company's IPO fundraising, including BlackRock1 and Draper Esprit plc, which have each indicated they would like to subscribe for GBP15 million and GBP2 million worth of ordinary shares in the Company, respectively.

Retail investors can also invest on the same terms as institutional investors, by registering their interest by creating an account on the PrimaryBid website.
Forward Partners is also pleased to announce that two new, independent non-executive directors, Susanne Given and Christopher Smith, will join the Board of Directors on Admission. Susanne is an experienced executive both in the private and listed company spheres, having held executive roles at Harrods, John Lewis and SuperDry. She is currently the Chairwoman of online furniture retailer Made.com and women’s clothing retailer Hush Homewear. Christopher has extensive corporate finance and public markets experience in a career covering 35 years in Equities and Investment Banking, most recently as a Vice Chairman at UBS Limited.

Nic Brisbourne, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Forward Partners, says: “In 2013, I started Forward Partners with a single mission in mind: to give more founders their best shot at success. Since then, we’ve built a portfolio we’re immensely proud of – packed with ambitious, growing businesses operating in the hottest technology sectors. We’ve proven our approach to investment works, growing the Initial Portfolio NAV2 to GBP103 million with returns above 25 per cent IRR. Our big differentiator has always been that we offer start-ups more than money. The combination of capital alongside specialist support for our start-ups has helped us to improve the odds of success for more pioneering founders.

"We know there’s more we can do. We believe it’s crucial that our industry innovates, because venture capital holds the key to unlocking the technology innovation that will build a better future for everyone. It supports and accelerates the work of entrepreneurs solving some of the world’s biggest problems, driving economic recovery, creating jobs and positive changes in equality, health and the environment.

"We’re taking our firm public to realise that vision. We’ll be able to invest more, for longer – and to build new products and services founders really need. For founders, it means more routes to growth – more choice, more control and more support. For investors, direct access to fast growing, innovative tech businesses through a well-established, well-managed and balanced portfolio.”