Bridges Ventures, a socially-minded venture capital firm, has invested £2.2 million ($4.4 million, €3.2 million) in The Office, a provider of affordable office space to small businesses in London.
Bridges first backed The Office in 2003. The company provides cheap office rental to small and medium-sized businesses in locations they would not normally be able to afford. The properties are also eco-friendly, with recycle points, bicycle storage facilities and solar panels for hot water.
The Office operates three properties in Kings Cross, Islington and Farringdon which are 90 percent occupied, and plans to use the latest funding to buy a fourth building in Shoreditch.
Bridges Ventures said it backs business in under-invested areas that deliver attractive financial returns to investors, as well as businesses that have positive effects on the environment, education and healthcare.
Bridges Ventures has also backed property companies The Hoxton Hotel and Smart Storage in recent years. The firm’s typical investments range from £125,000 to joint deals of up to £30 million.
Original investors in Bridges include Sir Ronald Cohen, the co-founder and former chairman of Apax Partners, and Tom Singh of New Look, 3i and the West Midlands Pension Fund. Bridges’ second fund has also attracted investment from famous institutions like HSBC, Citigroup and All Souls College, Oxford.