The government may start using the British Business Bank to invest directly in tech startups as a way to compete with generous funding for Silicon Valley businesses from wealth venture capitalists.
Currently the British Business Bank only funds projects indirectly. It works with specialised firms who deal directly with the companies seeking investment.
But according to The Telegraph the bank may start investing directly in firms, with sums as high as £50 million being mooted, albeit over a series of funding rounds.
Money could also be better provided to companies outside London, which currently has 57 per cent on angel investors.
Catherine Lewis La Torre told the paper that artificial intelligence and autonomous vehicles would be big features for upcoming investments.
She also explained that when a VC in Europe invests a company might get £5 million, while US startups would get £50 million. "These are the sort of gaps that we want to narrow" she said.
Silicon Valley investments are said to be worth as much as $84 billion in 2017.
But there are already global investment companies like Softbank's $100 billion Vision Fund which can support UK businesses. Notably Softbank used this fund to acquire British tech giant ARM Holdings, the company which designs chips for smartphones.
According to Tech City UK , British companies in tech are already securing twice as much funding as those in France. Venture capital and private equity spent £28 billion in the UK over the last five years.
The complications of the British Business Bank investing itself, rather than through other funds, is that it will need sufficient experts who understand what tech ideas could be successful.
And questions will no doubt be asked about protecting public money from some of the more absurd ideas startups pursue.
Take US startup Juicero which secured funding of $118 million.The idea was to encourage more people to drink fresh juice with a bespoke pressing machine that accepted only Juicero pouches.
The machine cost $700 and the pouches had to be used within a few days. The juice press checked the expiry date of each pouch over the internet and would refuse to operate if it had passed.
The YouTubers discovered that you could press the pouches by hand almost as effectively as in the machine.
The company went bust in September 2017 leaving machine owners with no juice. But such stories are less worrying when it's private investors bearing the risk rather than the taxpayer.