Your capital is at risk. Investing in early stage companies involves risks including loss of capital, illiquidity, lack of dividends and dilution. Equity investments in an Ascension Ventures’ Fund should be considered as part of a diversified portfolio.
Past performance is not a predictor of future performance. Ascension Ventures does not give tax or investment advice.
The availability of tax relief depends on individual investors’ circumstances, and on investee companies’ qualifying status, both of which may be subject to change.
Investing in shares, especially shares in small and early stage companies, is an inherently risky process. Below we provide a summary of the major risks and considerations you should be aware of.
Potential for Loss
An investment in shares (equity) does not guarantee that your money will be returned to you. Many small, early stage businesses fail, and if a business you invest in fails, neither that company nor Ascension Ventures will pay you back your investment. You are strongly advised not to invest more than you can afford to lose.
Diversification – which means spreading your money across a wide variety of investment types – is an important way to reduce the overall risk of investing. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Investors should not invest more than 10% of their investable assets in shares in early stage companies.
Lack of Liquidity
It is highly unlikely that you will be able to sell your shares quickly or easily. Shares in companies Ascension Ventures’ Funds invest in are unlikely to be traded on stock markets. You should be prepared to wait until, if it is, the whole company is sold, or floated on a stock market to sell your shares.
No Regular Income
Businesses invested in by our EIS and SEIS Funds are generally not yet profit-making, or will choose to spend all their profits on growing the business. This means that you are unlikely to receive regular distributions of profits through dividends, so you are unlikely to receive any return on your investment unless you are able to sell your shares.
The majority of companies invested in by our EIS and SEIS Funds are early stage companies, which lack significant trading or operating history. The success of these companies is uncertain and depends upon the ability of their management team to implement a strategy for growing the business.
Conflicts of Interest
Ascension Ventures or one of its Directors or employees may already hold shares in a company being considered for investment by one of its SEIS or EIS Funds. In addition, they or one of its Directors may also have a previously existing business relationship with a company being considered for investment by an associated Fund.
Any investment you make may be subject to dilution in the future. This happens when a company needs to issue more shares, in order to raise more money or incentivise staff. This means that the proportion of the company you own may be reduced, or ‘diluted’ over time. New shares issued by the company may also carry preferential rights to those acquired by you, meaning that payments such as dividends might get made to them first.
Tax Treatment of Shares
The UK government provides certain types of tax relief for investments in small businesses. While Ascension Ventures encourages businesses to apply for these tax reliefs (such as EIS and SEIS reliefs) where appropriate, the final decision on whether the company and investment is eligible is made by HMRC after the investment is completed. Eligibility for tax relief may also be lost due to your personal circumstances, or due to changes in the company’s activities or circumstances.
If you are unsure about any of the risks or warnings set out above, we recommend you seek advice from an Independent Financial Advisor.