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About Creative England
Creative England uncovers, invests and grows the best creative talent across the country.
Our vision is for England’s creative businesses and talent to be the most successful and innovative in the world; building economic growth that benefits our nation and creating opportunities for new voices, products and services. If the UK is to take advantage of its capacity to be a leader in creating new IP across Games, film, TV, and digital platforms it needs to ensure it can attract and grow the best talent and scale its businesses and creative capacities. Through our investment and wrap around support we attract and support this talent. We connect these businesses to investment, provide them the routes to existing and new markets and showcase their potential to the world through our advocacy and networks. Our activities are particularly focused on supporting businesses in the English regions with investment and support who may not have the same opportunities and access to finance as those in London.
Creative England’s focus is on spotting and supporting talent and investing in creative individuals and ideas, particularly those who face difficulties realising their project, growing their business or accessing commercial finance. We provide strategic advice and guidance to local, regional and national stakeholders and partners looking to grow their creative sector. Through our talent and content programmes we provide a platform for new voices and initiatives that create new IP. Our investment activity helps to fill the recognised “access to finance gap” and we work with a range of commercial finance providers to demystify and increase investment in creative enterprises. We are a flexible funder able to provide loans, equity and revenue-share finance and pride ourselves on being client-led rather than product-led, tailoring our finance to meet the needs of the businesses who need our help.
Our investment offer includes loans, mezzanine finance, equity and revenue/profit stage arrangements.
Our equity and revenue share investments are for early stage creative businesses and we generally invest up to £250,000 per round of investment. We are open to pre-seed, seed and series A investment rounds. We usually co-invest with other equity investors but are happy to lead a round if appropriate.
Alongside our investment, Creative England provides bespoke, industry- led business support and training to the business owners and teams we invest in. This is delivered in several ways, including one to one advice sessions with mentors and specialists; masterclasses;, networking events and practical hands on courses and workshops. Through our national and international reach, we also connect these businesses to the networks and markets they need to grow and export. Creative England has a number of partnerships with major purchasers of creative and digital services and applications including Microsoft, Sony, BBC, Sky & Disney among others, helping businesses to access routes to market. Our aim is to connect SMEs in the English regions with global brands; opening up new markets and investing in new supply chains and giving larger companies’ access to a pool of fresh talented SMEs.
Our interest in immersive technologies
Creative content is driving the creation of new platforms and has helped to establish new consumer markets whilst transforming the consumer experience through newer and more innovative business models demonstrating a dynamic and entrepreneurial opportunity for the economy to grow. Immersive technologies and the application of immersive is becoming ever more prevalent with PWC forecasting that VR in the UK entertainment and media industry alone will reach a value of £801m by 2021, making it the fastest growing and largest VR industry in EMEA. However, here remains a gap in the funding required to seed some of these ideas and to create viable deal flow for the private sector to take notice of the investment opportunities of these technologies. Creative England has a track record of working with companies from this sub sector and other related sub-sectors of the creative industries, including gaming; narrative film-making and companies developing content and applications using VR/AR .
We have a rolling investment pot and invest between £3 mil and £4 mil a year into c.25-30 companies. Approximately 75% of our investments are into new companies and rest as follow on investment into our existing companies
We are interested in a wide range of immersive propositions including content, experiences, products, platforms, services and software. We do not invest in the development of hardware/devises associated with immersive.
Recent examples of relevant investee companies with immersive technologies at the heart of their offering, include Hammerhead VR, Coast link, Totem Learning, Evidential among others
The value we can add to your company beyond capital
Alongside investment, Creative England provides, bespoke, industry led business support and learning to the business owners and teams we invest in. This is delivered by both in-house experts and an extensive network of specialist adviosrs through one to one advice sessions with mentors and specialist professionals, masterclasses, networking events and practical hands on workshops. Following a far-reaching diagnostic exercise, our support is designed to be a bespoke approach to each company’s needs including investor readiness, leadership, growth planning, finance, HR, exports, sales & marketing, IP, legal and product/market fit. Through our national and international reach, we also connect these businesses to the networks and markets they need to grow and export.
Creative England has delivered several programmes of investment and support specifically focused on gaming and immersive companies such as GamesLab and Greenshoots. Our team comes from within the industry and has expertise in the gaming and immersive space. Our wider team is expert in identifying and investing in creative and digital technology businesses and has a real understanding of challenges and opportunities these businesses face.