A look back at 4 EIS opportunities
A look back at 4 EIS opportunities

For investors into high-growth, early-stage businesses, the Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) offers some of the most generous tax reliefs, including the opportunity to claim back up to 30% of the value of your investment. 

The scheme was introduced in 1994 as a means of stimulating investment into unlisted businesses. 

In order for a business to be EIS-eligible, the company must be unquoted, have less than 250 full-time employees, have gross assets of less than £15 million and be within seven years of its first commercial sale. 

If it meets the above criteria, investors could:

  • Claim back up to 30% of the value of their investment through income tax relief
  • Dispose of shares without paying capital gains tax
  • Defer the payment of capital gains tax
  • Claim loss relief if the business performs poorly
  • Pass on the investment free of inheritance tax


As an FCA authorised fintech firm, Growth Capital Ventures (GCV) have been providing experienced investors with access to high-growth investment opportunities across three asset classes of Venture Capital, Property and Private Equity for the past five years. 

Below we take a look back at four EIS-eligible opportunities from GCV’s portfolio – Hive.HR, QikServe, Intelligence Fusion, and GCV itself – and discover how they have been making an impact and responding to the implications of the current COVID-19 pandemic. 



Hive.HR – established in 2015 – is an employee feedback platform used by the likes of Travelodge, Hermes, BrewDog, Northumbria Police and River Island to improve employee engagement levels by harnessing employee feedback to navigate change and make data-driven decisions about the future of their organisations. 

Hive enables their clients to easily gather and action employee feedback through timely surveys and always-on features, while being supported, guided and upskilled by team Hive.


Hive laptop


Hive.HR at a glance:

  • Sector – HR tech
  • Product – Employee feedback platform and people science
  • Business model – Software as a Service (SaaS)
  • Total investment to-date – £3.6 million across three funding rounds
  • Latest investment – June 20
  • Asset class – Venture Capital


To-date, GCV have provided strategic and corporate finance support to raise three rounds of funding for Hive.HR, totalling over £3 million. 

And G-Labs, GCV’s in-house venture builder team, have provided post-investment support to work directly with the CEO and senior management team to shape and implement Hive’s growth strategy.

Now employing over 40 members of staff, Hive.HR is continuing to prove its value proposition to customers.

Hive are dedicated to supporting their clients in becoming employers of choice in their field and ensuring every employee’s voice is heard. And as the COVID-19 pandemic hit, they were needed more than ever by businesses looking to manage change and ensure support is on hand for employees during the challenging period and beyond.

To do this more effectively, Hive adapted and deployed new features to their software. 

This included:

  • My Hive – an employee-facing extension of the platform that gives employees the ability to raise concerns, ask questions, submit ideas or respond to surveys without being prompted.
  • Suggestion tracking – Hive’s suggestions feature has been developed further so that HR teams can tag incoming suggestions, meaning they can be processed even more efficiently.


Hive.HR was also one of 25 North East companies who have collectively received investment totalling £10 million from the North East Fund since the UK went into Coronavirus-related lockdown in March. 



QikServe is a multi-channel guest self-service platform, allowing guests the convenience of ordering and paying for their food and drinks whenever and however they want. 

QikServe at a glance:

  • Sector – Fintech
  • Product – Guest self-service platform
  • Total investment to-date – £2.6 million
  • Investment date – September 2018
  • Asset class – Venture Capital


GCV co-invested into QikServe in 2018 alongside Maven Capital Partners in a funding round that exceeded it’s initial target and resulted in a fund raise of £2.6 million.

QikServe is built on the understanding that we’re moving closer and closer to a cashless society – especially in the aftermath of COVID-19 – and was designed to enhance the guest and customer experience by shortening queue times and speeding up transactions.


Qikserve system


This, in turn, encourages repeat visits and has seen an average transaction increase of 20% for outlets now utilising QikServe.

COVID-19 amplified the need for self-service platforms such as QikServe in the hospitality sector, with QikServe reporting a 76% increase in transaction volume during the crisis. 

QikServe was fast to react to operators’ urgency in finding solutions that allow them to trade under social distancing restrictions, aiming to minimise cash handling and address customer safety concerns. 

By April, customers began to include larger chains such as TGI Fridays and Tesco Eastern Europe. And in June, QikServe teamed up with Britain’s biggest motorway service operator, Moto, launching a click and collect service at 48 of its sites around the UK. 


Intelligence Fusion

Intelligence Fusion is a SaaS provider of geopolitical risk management solutions for global businesses, delivering enhanced threat intelligence and situational awareness to security teams using state of the art software.

Intelligence Fusion at a glance:

  • Sector – Software and big data
  • Business model – Software as a Service (SaaS)
  • Total investment to-date – £1.1 million across three funding rounds
  • Latest investment – December 2019
  • Asset class – Venture Capital


Intelligence Fusion now supports some of the world’s leading brands with real-time data and insights to help protect people, assets and reputation. Clients of Intelligence Fusion include BASF, Henderson Risk and Metropolitan Police.

GCV’s investment team provided strategic and corporate finance support to raise three rounds of funding, totalling circa £1.1 million to-date.

G-Labs also provided intensive support to develop and launch IF2, a highly scalable software-as-a-service and big data solution.


Intelligence Fusion Map


As COVID-19 began to spread across the world, Intelligence Fusion’s reporting on the pandemic was vital to its clients. The focus was to provide organisations with a comprehensive picture of how COVID-19 would impact their businesses both short-term and long-term.

Intelligence Fusion was able to provide clients with up-to-date insight into political developments, travel information and the wider societal and economic impacts. 

The survival of many of Intelligence Fusion’s clients depended on the quick, accurate and widespread data provided by the platform.

Over the past 12 months, Intelligence Fusion have noticed several significant milestones, including:

  • Ex-Microsoft Director, Robert Hayes, announced as new Chairman
  • Receiving the North East Business Innovation Award
  • A £600,000 investment from the Finance Durham Fund to enhance the existing technology and increase capacity across intelligence, sales and marketing
  • Securing an eight year deal with one of the world’s largest oil and gas corporations


Growth Capital Ventures

Launched in 2015, GCV has evolved rapidly over the last five years, but the mission has remained focused: to back the game changers, innovators and value creators. Those who make a positive difference to the way we live and work.

GCV operates across three core units, working cohesively to drive growth, create value and deliver impact:

  • A private investor network (G-Ventures), bringing private investors and institutional investors to co-invest in growth-focused investment opportunities.


  • A venture builder unit (G-Labs), investing capital, knowledge, experience, ideas and infrastructure to help tech entrepreneurs incubate business opportunities in high-growth sectors. Taking their ideas from concept to launch, scale, maturity and exit. Providing the G-Ventures investor network with access to well structured, high-quality investment opportunities.


  • A specialist fintech software division (Quva), building online investment and reporting platforms providing an end-to-end solution for investment managers and investor clients.


G-Ventures Quva G-Labs


Over the past five years, GCV has facilitated £45m of investment into nine high-growth businesses across 19 investment rounds – as well as the creation of more than 600 new jobs.

Based on the latest funding rounds, an investor participating equally across the portfolio with a £10,000 investment in each investment round would have an initial investment of £90,000 (before tax reliefs where available) and the current portfolio valuation (based on latest funding rounds) would indicate a portfolio valuation of £288,900* (excluding tax reliefs).

Please note – returns are not guaranteed. Past performance is not an indicator of future performance.

Over three funding rounds, GCV has raised capital from both institutional investors and members of GCV’s private investor network. 

And GCV has recently launched its latest EIS-eligible investment round that will provide intensive support to high-growth startups and create hundreds of new tech jobs within the North East.

Now overfunded, having exceeded the initial target of £1 million, there is still time for new and existing investors to participate in this round before the deadline on Monday 30th November


Discover more: GCV live EIS-eligible investment opportunity


GCV’s latest investment round comes at a time when the business is more important than ever, as the UK’s tech industry looks to be crucial to a post-COVID recovery.

Craig Peterson, Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer at GCV, said:

“Through our business divisions we’ve developed a powerful approach to creating, launching and scaling high-growth businesses.”

“We have the capability to support the start-up and expansion of several ventures that have the capacity to add real value to the UK’s tech industry. This sector will be vitally important to the UK as the economy tries to recover from the devastating impact of the Coronavirus.”

“Our aim now is to invest in and support exciting new projects that can build, launch and scale businesses, creating much-needed jobs at a time when employment is falling due to COVID-19.”

“The fundraise will not only increase our capacity with further quality hires and expand our venture builder arm, but in turn will enable the creation and scaling of the UK’s next wave of innovative tech startups.”


Discover more: GCV live EIS-eligible investment opportunity

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