With a minimum investment of £200k, a Tier 1 visa investor maybe an option you never considered.
The basic facts
Before exploring this route, there are some considerations to make:
- Are you prepared to have another director on the board? This is a home office requirement.
- With the investment, can you create two new jobs?
- Have you been trading for more than 1 year and turning a profit/approaching breakeven?
If you are able to answer yes to the above 3 questions, then a Tier 1 investor maybe an option for you.
What exactly is a Tier 1 visa applicant and how does it work?
- Tier 1 visa applicants are non-EU citizens looking to live in the UK.
- They must pass home office background checks as well as some other criteria including an English exam.
- They are often highly educated or have had business success in their own countries and are looking for a fresh challenge.
- Investment can be either Debt or Equity.
- Finding suitable investors is usually done through agencies. These agencies look to match skill sets and insist on several meetings and due diligence on both sides before any investment is taken.
- There can be a mixture of fees for securing investment via this route and it should be appreciated the level of work and time it takes to complete due diligence and marketing.
- You do not have to give voting right shares.
- It will be part of your negotiation to set out how you will work together if you proceed.
Is it guaranteed investment?
The simple answer is no.
Before any Tier 1 visa agent would take you on. they would assess your business. If they feel you would appeal to their client base, they will say so.
If an agent was happy to represent you, they could have a quick match, or it could take several months. Even then the initial match may not be suitable for your business.
The best way to think of a Tier 1 visa investor is as an extra resource in your funding journey. As the valuation can often be softer than a VC, it might be a great interim cash injection that could come out of the blue. Plus, as they bring more to the table than just cash, it may be a route to a new market you never expected, or can add an international strength to you board.
How we can help
Swoop works with a number of agencies covering a global reach. Register for free today at swoopfunding.com to see how we can help.