The head of Channel 4’s Indie Growth Fund, Laura Franses, has resigned her post and will step down later this year after three and a half years.

Franses joined Channel 4 in 2014 to help launch the £20m Indie Growth Fund which provides capital and expertise to start-up and small to medium sized creative businesses in the UK.

During her tenure, the has invested in a  portfolio of 13 businesses including digital start-ups and independent production companies which specialise in a range of genres including factual, drama and sport.

Earlier this year, she helped secure Channel 4’s first full exit when True North
Productions was acquired by Sky.

David Abraham, Chief Executive at Channel 4 said: “The Channel 4 Growth Fund now makes an important and varied contribution to the creative industries across the UK. When it was launched in 2013 it was a plan. Laura has helped to make it a reality with great skill, energy and judgement. We all owe her huge thanks for that.”

Jonathan Allan, Commercial Director at Channel 4 said: “Through attracting a strong pipeline of brilliant indies together with keen deal-making skills, Laura has built a strong and varied investment portfolio of high potential businesses and leaves the Fund in great shape which will enable it to support even more growing businesses across the UK. We are hugely appreciative of her work at Channel 4 and wish her every success in her future career.”

Laura said: “The Growth Fund has been an amazing, inspiring experience which is hugely supported by Channel 4 and will continue to flourish into the future. I came to Channel 4 with a blank canvas and three years later have initiated and completed 13 transactions including investment into the unknown Renowned; virtual reality company Parable; leading sports company Whisper Films; Simon Chinn’s TV company Lightbox; and the successful exit of True North. I’ve been through the full cycle and achieved everything I dreamed of doing at Channel 4.”

Through the Indie Growth Fund Channel 4 currently holds minority stakes in Arrow International Media, Barcroft Media Group, Eleven Film, Firecrest Films, Lightbox Media, Parable Ventures, Popkorn Media, Renowned Films, Spelthorne Community Television, The RightsXchange (TRX), Voltage TV Productions and Whisper Films.

Jonathan Allan will lead a process to hire the replacement for Franses.

Staff Reporter

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