Portfolio Update : Bright Ascension Limited - 23 August 2021

Capital for Colleagues plc / EPIC: CFCP / Market: AQSE / Sector: Investment

23 August 2021


(‘Capital for Colleagues’ or the ‘Company’)


Capital for Colleagues, the investment vehicle focused on opportunities in the Employee Owned Business (‘EOB’) sector, is pleased to announce an update in respect of its investee company, Bright Ascension Limited (‘BAL’).

BAL is an industry-leading space software technology provider, offering unique off-the-shelf software products and solutions for the delivery of space-based services, both on spacecraft and on the ground.

In 2016 and 2017, Capital for Colleagues invested a total of £250,000 for 250,000 ‘A’ ordinary shares of £1 each in BAL (’A’ Ordinary Shares’).  In addition to the principal amount of £250,000, the ‘A’ Ordinary Shares also gave preferential rights with respect to participation on the occurrence of certain specific events.

The Company is pleased to announce that BAL is raising £1m of additional equity through the issue of new ordinary shares to investors, including Bill Ainscough, a Non-executive Director of Capital for Colleagues. These funds will match development funding of approximately £1m that has been awarded to BAL as part of a European Space Agency (ESA) project. Bright Ascension will use the new funds for the development of next generation satellite software infrastructure, which will offer its customers a complete end-to-end software solution for space-based service provision. This expansion stage closely correlates to the company’s participation in the ESA’s ARTES Pioneer programme, a multi-year project set to design and develop a cutting-edge end-to-end solution which will enable a wide range of companies to create innovative satellite constellation services at a significantly reduced cost and within a reduced timeframe.

Scottish Enterprise also becomes a shareholder in BAL having invested in the company through its Early Stage Growth Challenge Fund.

In conjunction with BAL’s fund raising and to support the long term growth plans of BAL, Capital for Colleagues has exchanged its preferential participation rights relating to its ‘A’ Ordinary Shares into 50,000  new ordinary shares in BAL, with a deemed aggregate value of £1.75m. The Company also retains an interest in the £250,000 principal amount of the former ‘A’ Ordinary Shares.

The updated valuation of BAL in relation to this fundraising implies an increase in the Net Asset Value of the Company of approximately 2.6p per share.

Alistair Currie, Chief Executive of Capital for Colleagues, said:

‘We are delighted to report this significant new investment into Bright Ascension, which will enhance its ability to deliver cutting-edge solutions for its clients and gives us great confidence for its future. The post-investment valuation of Bright Ascension represents a further material uplift in the value of our investment, and further validates our strategy focused on Employee Owned Businesses.’

Peter Mendham, Chief Executive of Bright Ascension, said:

‘We are very excited to have secured this additional funding that will allow us to complete our ESA project work and will secure our existing roadmap and end-to-end product suite development to safeguard a stronger place in the industry.’

‘Capital for Colleagues has been a very supportive partner for Bright Ascension since the initial investment in 2016 and has helped us to establish a robust employee ownership culture in the business.’

The Directors of the Company are responsible for the contents of this announcement.


For further information, please visit or contact:


Richard Bailey, Chairman

Alistair Currie, Chief Executive


01985 201 980


Mark Anwyl

020 7469 0930

Capital for Colleagues plc

Capital for Colleagues is an investment company focused on the UK EOB sector. The Company has a proven management team, with a wide network of contacts and affiliates, as well as established access to investment opportunities, enabling the Company to execute its strategy and capitalise on EOB-focused investment opportunities. In addition, the Company educates and assists companies that are looking to launch employee ownership schemes, advising them, amongst other things, on how to secure investment and achieve their objectives.

Bright Ascension Ltd (BAL)

BAL is an industry-leading space software technology provider, offering unique off-the-shelf software products and solutions for the delivery of space-based services, both on spacecraft and on the ground.

The company offers a fresh and unique approach to space software development. The BAL team comes from both the space industry and other high-technology sectors, which allows the company to blend the most innovative ideas from different fields and create new and unique approaches to software development and operation.

BAL’s innovative modular approach allows its customers to significantly speed up mission development, simplify and automate operations, and results in lower total mission cost. Currently, 24 spacecraft have been launched to orbit with BAL software on board.

Market Abuse Regulation (MAR) Disclosure

This announcement contains inside information for the purposes of Article 7 of the Market Abuse Regulation EU 596/2014 as it forms part of retained EU law (as defined in the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018).