A new fund has been launched to boost early-stage technology and innovation businesses in Greater Manchester.

The Growth Company’s GM Co Investment Fund will share risk with private angel investors to help unlock the early stage equity market.

The fund will invest up to £150k of its own capital and leverage co investment funds from angels and approved investment partners on a deal-by-deal basis, funding rounds of between £200k and £2m. The intention is to deliver up to £15 million of aggregated investment into GM over the next three years.

The fund will be delivered by Business Finance Solutions, the Growth Company’s in-house fund manager.

“We know the issues that early stage innovative businesses face in securing capital to get their ideas off the ground, while also understanding the expectations and needs of private investors when they are looking to evaluate opportunities,” said Paul Breen, director of BFS.

“The GM Co Investment Fund, coupled with the business support infrastructure that now operates across GM, gives us a unique approach to bring businesses and angels together – by investing our own equity from the Co Fund; by de-risking the opportunity and giving the investment community the confidence to add their equity to the deal as our partners; and by supporting the businesses with follow-on funding as they grow and develop.”

The Co Investment Fund is part of the GM Combined Authority’s wider £47m business support programme which brings together resources from the Growth Fund, ERDF, Local Authority contributions and other partner funding.

Described as the next evolution of the Co Angel Investment Service, which has facilitated investment of £15.6m into 19 early-stage, high-growth companies, the new fund forms part of the GMCA’s response to supporting the early stage investment market.