Barclays has launched a £100 million investment fund aimed at supporting fast growing tech firms. 

Rather than selling equity in their business, startups will be able to borrow up to £5 million, allowing them to retail control of their development and concentrate on growth, the bank said.

Image: Barclays
Image: Barclays

The business loan, repayable over three years, will be offered to firms that have already secured venture capital investment.

Barclays said that most businesses take up to 15 years to move from startup to large corporate, but tech firms can scale much faster. A recent report from the bank showed that UK tech firms are expected to grow four times faster than GDP in 2015,

Barclays Personal and Corporate Banking CEO, Ashok Vaswani, commented the fund will offer UK businesses the same access to debt finance available to those in the US: “This new fund offers a welcome boost to growing UK technology firms, and will provide a catalyst for their development into larger companies. 

“We identified a significant gap in the traditional way technology businesses were financed, and with this new drive we will be truly able to support businesses right from their inception, to becoming major global players."

The fund follows other efforts by Barclays to support tech startups, particularly in the fintech space, including an accelerator programme with Techstars.