IP Group subsidiary Parkwalk Advisors is to pour even more funding into the UK's academic deep tech research under a new government tax scheme.
Parkwalk Advisors, the fund management arm of commercialisation firm IP Group, is aiming to raise a fund of undisclosed size to invest in deep tech businesses from UK-based universities.
Parkwalk said on Friday it was one of the first funds to benefit from a UK tax incentive, HMRC Approved Knowledge Intensive EIS Funds, aimed at connecting retail investors to the UK’s academic deep tech ecosystem.
Parkwalk EIS Knowledge Intensive Fund is anticipated to begin raising capital imminently ahead of a final close, the size of which was not specified, at the end of the tax year in April 2021.
The new unit will co-invest with Parkwalk’s existing Opportunities EIS Fund, a vehicle covered by an earlier UK tax relief programme called Enterprise Investment Scheme geared to venture capital investments in startups.
The UK government has set up HMRC Approved Knowledge Intensive EIS Funds with the aim of reducing paperwork and administrative obligations for investors in eligible vehicles.
It also permits funds to apply income tax reliefs from the date of the vehicle closing and, in certain circumstances, respectively to revenue from the previous tax year. In the UK, the tax year ends on April 5.
The government embarked on a new industrial strategy in 2017 in a bid to fuel investment into R&D businesses, and the latest initiative is also designed to align with these goals.
Parkwalk says the award of Approved Knowledge Intensive EIS status points to the satisfaction of regulators in its ability to deploy capital into qualifying companies.
The fund manager said it is the UK’s largest operator of EIS funds, having raised around £50m ($67.5m at contemporary rates) annually over the past couple of tax years.
Parkwalk’s announcement comes after it closed two university-specific vehicles earlier this month aimed at supporting the ecosystems of Imperial College London and University of Cambridge.
Moray Wright, chief executive of Parkwalk, said: “At a time of immense global change, we are pleased to be able to build on our recent success and offer this new Parkwalk EIS Knowledge Intensive Fund to investors.”
For more on Parkwalk’s focus on deep tech spinouts, listen to our podcast interview with Wright and join us for the university roundtable at the GCV Digital Forum 3.0 where he will join peers such as Jim Wilkinson, Neil Crabb and Helen McBreen to discuss best practices in venture funding.