UK sales and financing outfit Great Point Media has completed a successful EIS raise and has invested money into three creative companies.
Through its recently launched Great Point Ventures fund, the company is backing: Looper Insights, a data analytics and digital asset management platform for film and television, ProgramBuyer, an online screening portal that showcases TV content from around the world, and Brightlobe, a neurodevelopmental assessment that is delivered through immersive games for children.
The UK government introduced new Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) rules in March 2018, which effectively stopped producers using the tax break initiative to raise production finance for single film/TV projects or slates. This sparked plenty of discussion in the industry about whether EIS could be used at all by film companies, as Screen covered here.
Through its new fund, Great Point has potentially shown it is at least possible to use EIS to invest in media ventures that need backing to grow through spend on infrastructure, technology and staff.
This is in line with the changes to the “risk-to-capital’ conditions that formed the crucial part of the rule update, including the stipulation that “the issuing company has objectives to grow and develop its trade in the long-term”.
“Hopefully Great Point Ventures can help to allay any fears that producers and media businesses may have,” said Great Point co-founder Jim Reeve. “The media investment industry is alive and well, and starting with our three new partners, we’re excited to be contributing to the building of new media businesses.”
“The new EIS rules may have temporarily created an uncertain climate, but they have helped create a great opportunity for investors and content creators in the media world.”
Conversations are ongoing between UK producers and HMRC around the future of EIS. Still, there are no indications that producers will be able to utilise EIS for production financing, as used to be the case, under the new rules.