AIM investor Vela to boost Portr travel-tech stake with secured funding through UK Bond Network
Vela Technologies plc (“Vela”) (www.velatechplc.com), the AIM-quoted investing company focused on early-stage and pre-IPO disruptive technology investments, is raising £550,000 in debt finance through UK Bond Network, the alternative finance provider that specialises in structuring and distributing investment opportunities in secured corporate bonds.
On 11th January 2017, Vela committed to invest an initial £100,000 of its existing cash resources in Portr Limited (“Portr”), an on-demand airport luggage transfer service which trades as AirPortr. Vela will now use £150,000 of this new bond issue as a follow-on investment, increasing its existing 3.9% shareholding to 4.28%. The balance of the proceeds will be used for working capital and will enable Vela to take advantage of further investment opportunities as and when they arise.
Portr has already secured £2.536m, including Vela’s participation, as part of a larger fundraise. Portr is scaling operations to support the growth in demand for its innovative bag check-in service, which was recently integrated and launched exclusively with British Airways. Portr combines smart-process design and leading-edge technology to give air travellers freedom and time by collecting, checking in and delivering their luggage to and from London airports.
UK Bond Network has arranged underwriting for the bond, which will have a coupon of 10% and a term of three years, and is secured by an all-assets debenture on Vela and a fixed charge over Vela’s shares in Portr. Further protection for bondholders is provided through a personal guarantee by Scott Fletcher, Chairman of UK Bond Network and a shareholder in Vela.
Antony Laiker, Executive Director of Vela, said:
“This fundraising through UK Bond Network enables our current as well as new investors to support our continued investment strategy by participating in a non-dilutive structure. The launch of Portr’s partnership with British Airways in October 2016 was an important milestone, significantly raising the profile and visibility of the AirPortr brand to a wider travel audience.”
Chris Maule, CEO and Founder of UK Bond Network, said:
“Vela has a track record in identifying promising growth companies. UK Bond Network is assisting Vela with additional funding to boost its existing stake in the growing travel technology company, Portr. UK Bond Network Chairman, Scott Fletcher, is an existing shareholder in Portr and to demonstrate his belief in the company, is personally guaranteeing the Bond’s repayment.”
To read the full RNS on the London Stock Exchange website, please click here.
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1st February 2017
By Ben Cohen