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Calculus Capital invests GBP30m in record year

Calculus Capital, an Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) and Venture Capital Trust (VCT) specialist, has reported a record year with GBP30 million invested and over 500 companies reviewed over the 12 months to 31 October 2017.

Calculus believes this is evidence of the strong appetite for EIS and VCT investments and the robust health of the UK’s SME sector, which provided the team with a diverse range of attractive opportunities across a broad spread of business areas.
John Glencross, Chief Executive of Calculus Capital, says: “We’ve been investing in SMEs for almost 20 years and have a highly experienced team, with very demanding investment criteria. The range and quality of opportunities we identified over this 12 month period, which is our financial year, was striking though.
“We reviewed more than 500 potential investments and analysed well over 100 business plans in detail. From those, we invested in 15 companies with the quality of management, robust business strategy and strong market opportunity we seek.
“Investing GBP30m in 12 months marks a new high watermark for us and the fact we’ve been able to investigate so many compelling opportunities is a reflection of the talent and dynamism to be found in the UK’s smaller businesses. We think there is clear evidence that innovation, creativity and entrepreneurial spirit have never been stronger in the UK.
One of Calculus’s investments in 2017 was in Blu Wireless, whose ultra-fast ‘millimetre wave’ technology is designed to increase the amount of data that can be sent over the next generation mobile network, 5G, which is expected to come online in the next decade. Microchip giant ARM Holdings has also invested in Blu Wireless.
Another of last year’s investments was in Weedingtech, a world leader in environmentally-friendly herbicide-free weedkilling technology. The company, founded by environmental campaigner and entrepreneur Ben Goldsmith, has earned a series of awards for sustainable innovation.
Calculus also invested in Axol Bioscience, which provides stem cells for research by leading pharmaceutical companies and medical institutions.
The latest fundraising round for the Calculus EIS Fund opened on Monday 29 January and closes on Friday 27 April.
The Calculus VCT aims to deliver investors an annual tax-free dividend of 4.5 per cent. Existing Calculus investors will receive an additional 0.5 per cent discount.
Glencross says appetite for EIS and VCT investments continued to grow in the wake of rule changes announced in the Autumn budget.
“The Government has sharpened the focus of the EIS and VCT schemes to ensure investment goes to entrepreneurial growth companies, as has always been intended,” he says. “That’s further good news for the innovative and growing SMEs that are the lifeblood of our economy.
“It’s a move we welcome, because these are exactly the sort of companies we have always invested in and we believe that it will be good news for UK PLC.
“In the wake of the changes we are continuing to see a strong appetite for EIS and VCT investments, which have now entered the mainstream financial planning conversation for many higher earners.
“That’s partly because of the generous tax advantages that EIS and VCT investments have been granted by the Government and also pension restrictions that are leading high earners to look for alternative options.
“Another factor though is that people naturally want to support the UK’s most promising smaller businesses and expertly managed EIS and VCT investment portfolios provide a very attractive way to do that.”

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