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New Entrants Showcase: VGC Partners

Founded by Parminder Basran in 2011 VGC Partners is a growth capital investor with a proven track record of delivering superior and attractive investment returns. VGC invests in consumer, technology and digital media businesses with a particular interest in companies that straddle the intersection between the physical and digital world.

Sector focus and strategic vision

What sets VGC apart is its focus on operational performance. In the past decade it has built an enviable operational network with contacts across LA, New York, London, Singapore and Adelaide to help the brands in its portfolio grow across those territories. VGC prioritises operational focus post investment and proactively supports portfolio companies through a board seat and the appointment of a mutually agreed non-exec director or chairperson.

VGC’s clear strategic vision is to invest in the next generation of brands and technologies across the consumer, technology and digital media sectors. VGC identifies start-ups with robust and efficient operating models that support revenue growth of 100 to 400 per cent each year. The growth capital investor’s aim with each business is to prepare them for a private equity or trade sale, as such differentiated, defensible products and brands with passionate consumers or loyal commercial partners, plus solid operating models and EBITDA generation are essential.

Name-checking success

VGC has been backing entrepreneurial business for more than a decade. It started life investing on a deal-bydeal basis with seven investments including children’s digital media business SuperAwesome, photography archive company Iconic Images and car rental firm Silvercar, which was acquired by Audi in 2017. Current Distribution Paid In (DPI) is 1.3 x and Multiple of Invested Capital (MOIC) is 2.2 x, with investments on track to return over 5 x to investors once fully realised – the only investment left to exit is EPIC Games.

VGC is currently investing from its £50.25m main fund, which has investment from institutional and family office investors and is anchored by the British Business Bank through its Enterprise Capital Funds (ECF) programme for early-stage growth capital.

Portfolio companies in this fund include Kick Game, a luxury sneaker and apparel retailer that is on track to grow revenues from £2m in 2019 to £50m in 2022 as it expands across the globe, and Percival Menswear a London-based contemporary fashion brand that’s a favourite of Gareth Southgate. VGC initially invested £150,000 in the menswear brand in 2018 and has since invested a further £3m, as the brand doubled its net sales year-on-year.

One of VGC’s biggest successes to date is leading the Series A investment in SuperAwesome which was sold five years later to Epic Games, the company behind hugely popular videogame Fortnite.

Aware of the need to be plugged into next generation technology and founders, VGC partnered its SEIS Fund with Amazon Alexa from the 20/21 tax year and onward. It specifically targets businesses that specialise in voice technology across the FMCG, health and wellness, sustainability, digital media, e-commerce and fintech sectors. Both this fund and Seed Fund IV have been in partnership with Amazon Alexa. The fund’s voice tech investments are given exclusive access to Amazon’s UK Alexa Incubator Programme, which provides technical and business mentorship support from the Amazon Alexa team.

Collective experience

The team is made up of the right combination of successful investors and operators, who have run and grown successful businesses and exited them. The extended team has worked at large corporates with a variety of backgrounds, either from top accounting firms, consulting firms or industry leading businesses in the sectors in which they invest.

Supported by an unparalleled advisory network across consumer, digital media, technology, and gaming, the team remains involved in the business through to exit to improve operational elements of the business, ultimately leading to a successful exit.

EIS

VGC is now gearing up to launch a specialist EIS Fund for early-stage companies looking to raise between £500k to £2m. The fund will utilise the same sector focus – across consumer, technology and digital media – skillset and global operational network as the main fund, to bring investors similar advantages when investing. The fund will be a closed fund launched each tax year and will target 5x investment returns.


 Click here for more information about VGC Partners

 

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