The annual report is now available
The annual report & accounts for the 14 month period to 31 December 2019 was released on 16 April, and can be viewed in full here.
The report includes more detailed information for the period to 31 December, as well as Octopus’ and the Board’s view on the outlook for the VCT.
We’re working closely with our portfolio
As a reminder, Octopus Titan VCT comprises around 80 portfolio companies spread across a range of different sectors. We have been speaking to all of them as often as needed, some as frequently as daily, to help them continue to navigate the impact of Coronavirus on their businesses and understand the options available to them, including government support, business and financial scenario planning and funding options.
For some, this is clearly a very difficult time as the markets they operate within or the customers they serve have been impacted significantly in a short space of time, which is having a direct negative impact on their revenues. In other cases, we are seeing businesses flourish, as you can read about here.
What this means for deployment
As an evergreen VCT with significant cash reserves of £295 million as at 16 April 2020, we are well placed to support companies in our portfolio with additional funding and they will be our priority for the time being.
As always, we will consider each company and opportunity on a case-by-case basis, taking into account a number of factors including but not limited to the medium to long-term impact of Coronavirus on the sector the business operates in. There may be chances to invest further into those businesses doing well, but we may also need to take some difficult decisions not to fund a business further where we do not believe there is a sufficient case to do so. This could ultimately lead to the regrettable failure of some companies in the portfolio. However, this is a process we as early stage investors are used to and ensuring we continue to maintain a robust investment discipline will be key to the ongoing success of Titan VCT.
While the existing portfolio must be our priority in the short term, we still want to meet great entrepreneurs and remain on the look-out for new investments which show exceptional potential. It is true to say however, that we will be assessing new investment opportunities through the lens of the massive near to mid-term uncertainty in the world the moment.
How we’re able to help apart from funding
As investors will be aware, we have prioritised talented entrepreneurial teams when seeking businesses in which to invest Titan VCT for many years. As a result, we have been very impressed with how all the management teams within our portfolio have reacted to this unique situation so far.
Even the best entrepreneurs also need support though. In some cases, this means taking advantage of our existing resources including access to our Operating Partners (experts in their field, who can help businesses with particular challenges), our panel of CEO coaches, the founder mental health programme, or even our in-house talent experts.
We’ve also specifically collated information on all the major financial aid initiatives brought in by governments in the UK and US to help our management teams find their way through this new legislation, and held webinars with key advisers to help them understand whether taking advantage of such assistance is the right path for their business. Where businesses might have to take the very tough decision to consider redundancies, we’ve set up a system to help our entrepreneurs share information on the best talent, with a view to helping retain those people within the Octopus family of portfolio companies.
Realising our investments
Realistically, we just don’t know yet how the pandemic will affect the potential for exits from the portfolio in the immediate to medium-term. Regardless, we continue to work closely with our portfolio companies to position them for exits when appropriate.
In the meantime, we are very pleased that many portfolio companies continue to attract further investment from new investors and we’re delighted, for example, that Bought By Many, the British pet insurer which is among the industry’s fastest-growing players, announced it has raised nearly £80m led by a prominent global venture capital firm this week.
In summary, the Coronavirus pandemic continues to impact the Titan portfolio companies, positively and negatively. We are working closely with all companies and funding those that require it where appropriate so that they can weather a prolonged period of disruption, confident that many will emerge stronger when the effects of the pandemic abate.
As ever, if you have any questions, please contact us.
Reminder of the key risks
- The value of investments discussed, and any income from them, can fall as well as rise. Investors may not get back the full amount they invest.
- Tax treatment depends on an investor’s personal circumstances and may change in the future.
- Tax reliefs depend on the VCT maintaining it’s VCT-qualifying status.
- VCT shares could fall or rise in value more than other shares listed on the main market of the London Stock Exchange. They may also be harder to sell.
- This advertisement is not a prospectus. Investors should only subscribe for shares based on information in the prospectus and Key Information Document (KID), which can be obtained from octopusinvestments.com.