A government loan given to Killing Kittens to help it through the pandemic has converted into an equity stake in the company, the British Business Bank confirmed on Tuesday.
Killing Kittens, which hosts women-led adult parties in cities including London and New York, has secured investment in 2020 from the UK government’s Future Fund, which was designed to help startups survive the coronavirus pandemic. coronavirus.
The society was founded by Emma Sayle in 2005 and hosts members-only parties at exclusive venues where “established gender stereotypes” are challenged, according to its website. It saw a 330% increase in website traffic during the coronavirus shutdowns and now calls itself “the fastest growing adult social network”.
At one point, the pandemic forced the company to move all of its events and workshops online, accelerating existing plans to enter the sex tech industry – a rapidly growing sector encompassing products and businesses focused on on improving sexual experiences.
Killing Kittens now has a mobile app that allows users to meet “for casual hookups, friendship, kinky partners, or a long-term relationship,” according to a description on its website.
The government’s Future Fund had previously given the company a loan of £170,000 ($221,780). The scheme, which is funded by tax revenue, typically provides debt funding of between £125,000 ($153,000) and £5m ($6.1m) to businesses, provided they match the less to the financing of private investors.
The government has taken stakes in many other companies through the fund. Last March, 337 convertible loans it made to companies across the country also turned into equity after those players raised additional funds.
Asked about the Killing Kittens investment on Tuesday, a spokesperson for the British Business Bank said that “applications that met all the eligibility criteria received an investment”.
“The Future Fund used a standard set of terms with published eligibility criteria,” the representative added in a statement. “The process provided a clear and effective way to make funding available as widely and as quickly as possible without the need for lengthy negotiations.”
Killing Kittens did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
After the initial investment in 2020, Sayle joked that she never “considered Boris as a limited partner”, referring to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
– CNN’s Eoin McSweeney and Hanna Ziady contributed to this report.