Yorkshire Bank launches dedicated start-up team to fund growing tech firms

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Yorkshire Bank has launched a dedicated team to make it easier for tech start-ups to access finance.

Yorkshire and its sister bank Clydesdale have established the Emerging Technology Unit as part of its £125m lending backed by the British Business Bank.

Earlier this year, Yorkshire and Clydesdale announced it would make additional small business lending under the British Business Bank’s ENABLE Guarantee.

The Government scheme aims to incentivise institutions to make funds available by covering a portion of loan losses.

Paul Shephard, director for business and private banking at Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banks, said the Emerging Technology Unit will support “an important and growing part of the UK economy”. He said: “The nature of British business has shifted considerably in the last few decades from one of manufacturing, industry and production, to one of knowledge, service and innovation.

“Traditional manufacturers still play an important part in our economy, but the emergence of technological innovation is something we have the expertise and desire to support.”

While the banks acknowledged tech start-ups may have short-term losses, the team is looking to work with firms that have raised at least £500,000 of external equity investment, developed a commercial product which is beyond research phase, delivered revenues of at least £500,000 and have evidence of sound intellectual property.

The team will run alongside the banks’ Growth Finance team, which was founded in 2010 to provide senior business lending to firms with strong intellectual property portfolios and existing venture capital.

Leeds is home to a growing number of tech start-ups.

The Leeds Digital Hub, a joint venture from The Yorkshire Post and Leeds Beckett University, is home to some of the city’s top ventures, including online coffee club Beanify and device monitoring system WiFi Plug.

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