Have you heard of the creative economy? There is no single definition for that. It’s a developing notion based on the interaction of human creativity, ideas, intellectual property, information, and technology. The ‘creative industries’ are essentially knowledge-based economic activities.
With the election of New Labor in 1997, the UK began to clarify the creative industries notion. At the time, there was a lot of discussion about the evolution of ICT and the concurrent development of creative industries and economies allowed by ICT advancements.
To put things in perspective, in the UK, the creative economy is one of the world’s fastest expanding sectors, with a global value of over $2.2 trillion and accounting for 11% of the UK GDP. The creative economy enfranchises social mobility and wealth development beyond socioeconomic lines by recognising potential beyond academic success.
Edge Investments, located in London, has raised £85M for its second venture fund, Create the Future, which is aiming for a £100M ultimate close. With ticket sizes ranging from £1M to £5M, the firm focuses on early-stage startups in edtech, virtual/augmented reality (AR / VR), adtech, content development and distribution.
The British Business Bank has contributed £50M to the fund through its Enterprise Capital Funds programme, which aims to boost the supply of equity capital to high-potential, early-stage UK companies while lowering barriers to entry for fund managers wishing to operate in the VC sector. Following a £24M commitment to Edge’s Edge Creative Enterprise Fund in 2015, this is the second ECF investment in an Edge fund (ECEF).
Create The Future Fund
Edge’s Create the Future fund will invest in creative economy startups that are doing innovation in fields like edtech, virtual / augmented reality (AR / VR), adtech, content production, and distribution. It is generally investing in early-stage startups with established product market fit, writing first cheques of between £1 and $5M and then following up to help those businesses grow.
David Glick started the company Edge. Simon Andrews is in charge of the investing team. David Fisher was in charge of fundraising.
“Creativity, art, education, and culture enrich and improve the quality of all of our lives through their consumption and enjoyment, as well as the technical improvements they inspire,” stated David Glick, CEO of Edge Investments.
“The Bank’s Enterprise Capital Funds programme is critical in helping to develop and maintain an effective venture capital provision in the UK, lowering the barriers to entry for emerging fund managers and those targeting less well-served areas of the market,” said Ken Cooper, Managing Director, Venture Solutions, British Business Bank. We are helping to unlock successful funding and support of early-stage, high-potential enterprises functioning in the creative economy by continuing to support Edge and their second fund.”
For the past six years, Edge has sponsored some of the companies in the creative economy, having opened its first fund in 2016. Jungle Creations, an online video news community and marketplace, A Million Ads, an audio advertising personalization company, Newsflare, and BLAST, a worldwide esports network, are among the companies in its portfolio.