February 19, 2018
TIGA, the trade association representing the UK video games industry, has said that the Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) and Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS) are “important measures that help companies access finance.” TIGA also said that the Government should “examine the case for a Games Investment Fund.” TIGA made the comments following the Treasury’s reference to a recently published review on the effectiveness of the EIS and SEIS.
The EIS and SEIS are UK Government schemes designed to help smaller higher-risk trading companies raise finance by offering a range of tax relief to investors who purchase new shares in those companies.
TIGA says that HMRC found that in 2015-16, 2,360 companies received investment through SEIS and £180 million of funds were raised. This was very similar to 2014-15, when 2,365 companies raised a total of £180 million. Meanwhile, under the EIS, companies raised a total of £1,888 million of funds in 2015-16, compared to £1,929 million the previous year.
In total, 26,355 companies have participated in EIS, which has been operating since it was launched in 1993, while 6,665 have participated in SEIS since its 2012 inception.
Dr Richard Wilson OBE, Chief Executive of TIGA, said: “EIS and SEIS are important measures that help companies access finance and it is great to see their impact on the UK start-up scene. Creative businesses, including games development studios, find it relatively difficult to access finance so incentives such as EIS and SEIS are important for our industry.
“However, access to finance remains the most common challenge for many video games businesses. Despite schemes such as EIS and SEIS, almost two-fifths of respondents to TIGA’s 2018 Business Opinion Survey said that access to finance was holding back their business.
“This is why TIGA has called for the Government to examine the case for introducing a Video Games Investment Fund, to support the long-term growth of the video games industry. The industry currently adds £1.5 billion to GDP every year. If we can improve studios’ access to finance then our industry will create more jobs, invest more capital and make an even bigger contribution to UK GDP.” To read TIGA’s press release in full, click here.