Formula One EIS makes gas investment

The Foresight Williams Technology EIS Fund has made its first investment, into Southampton-based intelligent gas grid solutions provider Utonomy.

Foresight, a specialist in enterprise investment schemes and venture capital trusts, has invested £500,000 into the group and plans to make investments of up to £2m into at least 10 qualifying small or medium businesses in the engineering and technology space.

Craig Wilson, managing director of Williams Advanced Engineering, said: “Williams Advanced Engineering and Foresight launched this fund with the vision to support emerging technologies and innovative solutions to global problems.

“Thanks to four decades of successful operation at the pinnacle of motor racing, and vast experience in technology development and complex engineering delivery, Williams Advanced Engineering is very well placed to support Utonomy and its pioneering technology.”

The Foresight Williams EIS is a collaboration between investment experts at Foresight and engineers at Williams Advanced Engineering, the Formula One engineering group.

“Thanks to four decades of successful operation at the pinnacle of motor racing, and vast experience in technology development and complex engineering delivery, Williams Advanced Engineering is very well placed to support Utonomy and its pioneering technology,” Mr Wilson said.

EIS schemes provide investors with significant tax relief, but must invest into early-stage businesses. Wealth Manager Philippa Gee said it was important that investors understand the risks as well as the tax benefits. 

“There are plenty of risks in terms of potential tax relief and capital loss, however I believe that advisers are increasingly skilled and delivering this information,” she said.

Foresight said that Utonomy developed an innovative technology for reducing leakage in gas distribution networks “using the internet of things.”

rosie.murray-west@ft.com

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