CIOSIF passes £10M milestone

The Genie companion robot which has been developed by Service Robotics Ltd. The company has received a £300k equity investment from CIOSIF

The Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Investment Fund (CIOSIF) has supported more than £10 million of investment into 24 local businesses in its first two years of operation.

The £40 million fund was launched in 2018 by the British Business Bank and the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership to provide new and growing businesses with more funding opportunities.

Since then it has invested a total of £6.1 million in 24 businesses from a wide range of sectors, attracting a further £4.6 million of private investment, making a total of £10.7 million.

The fund provides debt and equity finance from £25k to £2 million. So far, eight local businesses have received £3.8 million of equity funding and 16 businesses have received £2.3 million of debt funding.

The £10 million milestone was recently marked by a live one-hour webinar which celebrated local businesses that have benefitted from CIOSIF funding and discussed some of the challenges presented by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Ken Cooper, MD, Venture Solutions, at the British Business Bank, said: “The fund has continued to invest through this difficult period, helping local businesses to grow and create jobs, and we’re delighted to be celebrating that success and the positive impact the fund is having on the local economy.”

One of the businesses to have benefited from the fund is Service Robotics, which received a £300k equity investment from CIOSIF to develop a companion robot for vulnerable and elderly people. Co-founder and CEO, Rob Parkes, said: “The fund has made a huge difference to our business because every start-up needs the backing of a serious significant investor to guide you through the journey and to be with you on that journey.

“This first step with the fund has been brilliant because the money has allowed us to develop the solution, take it through a pilot which is happening right now in Cornwall, and through to commercial reality next yet.”