The UK government has awarded £60m (€85m) to three early-stage funds under its Enterprise Capital Funds scheme.
Three £30m funds – MMC Ventures, the Dawn Capital Fund and Oxford Technology ECF – will each receive funding.
The government’s contribution will be combined with £30m of private sector money.
MMC is targeting businesses in the healthcare, technology and financial services sectors. Dawn Capital will invest in companies in traditional sectors where there is scope to make improvements through the use of technology. Oxford Technology will target early-stage companies in the science, engineering and technology sectors.
The latest investment brings the government’s total commitment to the ECFs programme, set up to foster innovation in the “equity gap”, to more than £141m.
John Hutton, the UK secretary of state of business, enterprise and regulatory reform, also announced that a new body, Capital for Enterprise, would be set up to manage the funds from 1 April 2008.
Capital for Enterprise will also take charge of several other government programmes, including the UK High-Technology Fund, the Regional Venture Capital Funds, Early Growth Funds, and the Small Firms Loan Guarantee Scheme.