# **Blackfinch Spring VCT: Investing in High-Tech Growth Companies in the UK**
Welcome to the official Wealth Club YouTube channel! In this video, we have the pleasure of interviewing Dr Reuben Wilcox, the manager of Blackfinch Spring VCT at Blackfinch Ventures. Blackfinch is a multi-asset investment firm with nearly £700 million in assets under management[^1^].
Reuben shares his background, which includes a PhD in microchip design and a passion for bringing innovative technologies to market. He also discusses Blackfinch Ventures’ mission to invest in high-tech, high-growth companies in the UK[^2^].
Specifically, he talks about the exciting portfolio of 19 companies Blackfinch Spring VCT has built and the founder-based management team. Reuben highlights companies like Currensea, which uses open banking to provide a more affordable and convenient payment option for travels, and Placed, a disruptive player in the recruitment industry[^3^][^4^].
Additionally, he explains how Blackfinch supports its portfolio companies beyond funding, their approach to managing risks, and the potential for attractive dividends for investors[^5^].
If you’re interested in learning more about Blackfinch Spring VCT, including investment options and documents, please visit the Wealth Club website[^6^]. Don’t forget to subscribe to our channel and hit the notification bell for more insightful interviews with fund managers like Reuben!
*Important note: The opinions expressed in this interview are solely those of the interviewee and do not necessarily reflect the views of Wealth Club Limited. This video is not financial advice and the featured products may not be suitable for everyone. Venture Capital Trusts are higher-risk investments and their liquidity may be limited. Capital loss is possible. Tax regulations can change, and the tax benefits mentioned depend on individual circumstances. If you have any doubts about an investment, please seek professional advice[^7^]*.
**Jonathan Moyes:** Hello, I’m Jonathan Moyes, head of investment research at Wealth Club, and today I’m with Reuben Wilcox of Blackfinch Ventures to talk about the Blackfinch Spring VCT. Hello Reuben, welcome to the studio. Firstly, could you tell us about Blackfinch Ventures and your own experience?
**Reuben Wilcox:** Yes, sure. So we’re multi-asset investment specialists at Blackfinch, we’ve got approaching £700 million assets under management, but the important thing is we’re an entrepreneurial firm, we were founded by an entrepreneur, and we like to serve clients that understand why innovation really drives investment returns so that might mean anything from helping you manage family wealth all the way through to companies managing the cash on their balance sheet but what I do is I manage the Ventures side and we look to invest in The most exciting high-tech high growth companies in the UK today. And you asked about my background, it’s a bit unusual – so 20 years ago I did a PhD in microchip design, I did a few years of doing fascinating things across research, tracking honeybees by developing tiny little trackers That sat on their backs, developing telemetry systems to help solar-powered boats win races, but what I loved doing was trying to take that technology and bring it to market, so I helped Southampton University to do that over 5–6 years patenting technologies, licensing, Commercialising, spinning out. And I did that whilst I did my own startups, so when I sold one of those quite successfully in 2014 I then founded an accelerator called Future Worlds, where we helped about 50 companies to launch through that platform. And then I joined Blackfinch, and my experience is not unique at Blackfinch, so we have a number of people that have this kind of founder-based background as well. And so we’re here today to talk about the [Blackfinch Spring] VCT – what does it aim to do for investors?
**Jonathan Moyes:** So what the VCT is really looking to do, the Spring VCT is to expose clients to the growth opportunity that you see in some of the most exciting tech companies in the UK today. So these types of companies are run by founders that win awards, we’ve got founders Who have Forbes 30 under 30 Awards, we’ve got founders with products that are really disrupting big industries, industries like rail, like advertising, like marketing, recruitment, and we like to see them do that, we like to understand how they’re going to shape those industries and Become a major player. And what we have as a VCT is – because we’re a slightly younger VCT, we’ve got 19 companies – so the really exciting thing about Spring VCT is that when we get an exit, it’s going to have quite an appreciable change on the NAV, and that means that You could get some very interesting dividends. And so what types of companies are you looking to back within the VCT?
**Reuben Wilcox:** So we invest across sectors, we typically invest into companies that are doing anything from about £0.5 million revenue a year to Say £2 million revenue a year, and we’re looking at companies that are really trying to disrupt and change the markets that they operate in, and we like to invest in companies where we can really make a difference as well. Is there anything you avoid? There are one or two areas, so for example life sciences – what we find is that they are very long time-to-market opportunities which doesn’t quite fit our mandate. We tend to avoid companies that are really following a very big hype cycle, overvalued, And there might be a lot of people piling in, but often that comes with a bit of a surprise down the line.
**Jonathan Moyes:** And so management teams then, what are you looking for in a good management team within these companies?
**Reuben Wilcox:** So we look for three things, actually, in particular. We look for A hacker, hustler, and a hipster. It’s an interesting little way we describe it. And a hacker is really someone that understands the tech deeply, that really obsesses late into the night about writing the code and getting that product to work. And then the hustler is the closer, someone that is Able to close deals, hire great people at the company, close investment. And then the hipster is someone that understands people, so they understand growth, they understand how to bring great products to market. So we look for those types of characteristics. One of the things I learned when I Did my accelerator was that you could actually teach and coach anyone to give a really good pitch for about an hour and a half, so one of the things that we do is we go deep into our pitch sessions, 3-4 hours, we speak to everyone in the company to really Get under the hood of who those founders are. Could you, within the VCT portfolio you mentioned you have 19 companies now, could you give us some examples of recent investments you’ve made?
**Reuben Wilcox:** Yes, absolutely – I’ll tell you about two. So one, really quite recent Is a company called Currensea, and this is an absolutely brilliant company that uses open banking, I’m sure you’ve heard of open banking. If you go abroad on holiday and you have a high street bank account then you spend on your debit card, on your credit card, you get Absolutely hammered for fees and often you don’t realise it, because it’s hidden in the exchange rate or in various different places. But if you went to, say, Florida for a week or two weeks, three weeks you could easily pay £100–300 in fees just using your high street bank account card. Now you could go to Monzo, Revolut, you could go to a challenger bank, you could get a payment card and you could top it up and then go and you’d benefit from the lower fees, but it’s a pain because you’ve got to Top it up, you’ve got another bank account. Now what Currensea does is they layer open banking on top of your normal High Street bank account and so you benefit from the lower fees, you benefit from that challenger bank experience through the app, but you’re not paying the fees that you would do If you used your own credit or debit card. It’s doing really well, we invested a few months ago and it’s already smashing its targets, and we’re excited to see where it goes next. Second company that we invested in a bit earlier in the year in April is a company called Placed, And what they’re doing is they’re really disrupting the recruitment industry for the…
**Transcript continued in video**
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[^1^]: [Blackfinch Website](https://www.blackfinch.com/)
[^2^]: [Blackfinch Ventures](https://www.blackfinch.com/ventures/)
[^3^]: [Currensea Website](https://currensea.com/)
[^4^]: [Placed Website](https://www.placed-app.com/)
[^6^]: [Wealth Club Blackfinch Spring VCT](https://www.wealthclub.co.uk/y/blackfinch-spring-vct/)
[^7^]: [Wealth Club YouTube Channel](insert_youtube_link)
*Disclaimer: This description is for SEO and educational purposes. It does not guarantee any investment results. Please consult a financial advisor before making any investment decision.*
We talk to Dr Reuben Wilcock of Blackfinch Ventures, manager of Blackfinch Spring VCT. A relatively new Venture Capital Trust, it has built up a portfolio of 19 companies and its management team has founder experience. In this interview:
0:00 About Blackfinch Ventures
0:56 Reuben’s background
1:44 What does Blackfinch Spring VCT aim to do for investors?
2:33 What types of companies go into the VCT?
3:14 Management teams (“a hacker, hustler, and a hipster”)
8:07 Besides funding what does Blackfinch do to help companies succeed?
9:15 Are volatile financial markets affecting the portfolio?
12:55 Exit potential, and Candidate.ID
14:26 VCT performance and dividends
15:34 To sum up, why should investors consider Blackfinch Spring VCT?
For more details on Blackfinch Spring VCT, including documents & how to invest, see https://www.wealthclub.co.uk/y/blackfinch-spring-vct/
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The opinions expressed in this video are the interviewee’s own and do not necessarily reflect the view of Wealth Club Limited. This interview, like our service, is not advice and the products featured are not suitable for everyone. Venture Capital Trusts are higher risk and less liquid than mainstream investments. You could lose your capital. Tax rules can change and tax benefits depend on your circumstances. If you’re unsure an investment is right for you, please seek professional advice.