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[LONDON] Barclays launched a new £100 million pound (S$203.3 million) fund on Friday to lend cash to fast growing British technology firms who may not want to sell an equity stake.
Barclays said it will lend up to 5 million pounds for three years to technology firms that have secured venture capital financing, filling what it said was a gap in the way technology firms were financed in Britain.
It represents a debt finance option similar to those available to US tech firms but not widely available in Britain. It may be an attractive alternative for entrepreneurs who do not want to sell equity and create a more efficient capital structure, the bank said.
There has been strong growth in technology firms in Britain in recent years. Banks face competition from other sources such as peer-to-peer lenders and private equity firms to fund their growth, which is typically far more rapid than the traditional 15-year growth cycle for a business.
There has been a particular boom in financial technology start-ups in London, and investment in this area in Britain and Ireland was US$623 million last year, more than double the amount in 2013, consultancy Accenture estimated.