Without further ado, here is our list of the most active investors in the South West:
Established in 2016, the club gathers a diverse group of members, all of which have been very selectively chosen and possess a strong background in business. As the only angel network in the South West, BPEC is the perfect place for local businesses to seek equity investment. During the past two years, they have invested approximately £ 6.5M into 12 different businesses based in the South West including The bunch and Wriggle.
Since each member can decide on what companies they invest individually, the range and stage of investments vary. It typically goes between £ 150k and £ 500k. The application process is very straightforward. You can directly contact them on their website for an initial meeting with two of the members of the club followed by a presentation to a wider audience.
Mayfair Equity Partners was founded in 2014 by four partners that shared a passion for growth investing. The group aims at backing businesses in their scaling process and only takes part in investments where they can add value and collective growth can be achieved. Their portfolio is very diverse and it goes from a global multi-channel Japanese food platform YO! to maternity and nursing brand Seraphine. They have invested £ 180M amongst Graphcore, OVO and Ultraleap, making them one of the top investors in the South West.
Most of their investments are on well established companies that are looking to grow. Although they discussed their investment range, they tend to invest over £ 10M and investments take place at late stages. You can contact Mayfair Equity Partners on their website to find out more.
The fund was created in 2000 by the University of Bristol Research and Enterprise Division (RED). The fund supports research development within the University of Bristol and the wider SME business community. It provides private investors with opportunities to invest in early-stage technology companies and supports businesses financially to ensure success during the initial stages of commercial product development. The fund has invested in 11 businesses in the South West during the past two years, totalling £ 5.39M.
Whether you are an investor looking to invest with the fund or a business owner looking for funding, you can find more information by looking at Parkwalk’s Advisors ’(fund managers) website. Some of the companies they invested in during the past two years include LettUs Grow, Inductosense and Ceryx Medical.
The Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Fund, supported by the European Regional Development Fund, is an initiative launched by the government-owned British Business Bank. The fund is aimed at supporting the growth of smaller businesses in the region between 2018 and 2023 and boosting the region’s economy. The up to £ 40m fund provides business with access to finance (both debt and equity) and seeks to address an equity gap in start-up, early-stage and development capital.
The fund does not have any sector restrictions and its equity investment range from £ 300k to £ 1.5M. Wildanet, Service Robotics and Codices are just some of the companies that have been invested in. You can find more about how to apply by visiting their website.
BGF was founded in 2011 and has since grown into a multi-billion dollar investment firm. BGF defines itself as a firm that “makes investments from an evergreen balance sheet”. Their average initial investment averages £ 5M and unlike other firms, they aim at building long-term relationships with companies and engage in flexible long-term partnerships where BGF remains as a minority partner, therefore leaving management in control of the business operations.
Since its founding, BGF has invested over £ 2.5bn in almost 400 different companies. In recent years, the firm has invested over £ 43M amongst 8 businesses in the South West, including Amdaris, Ruroc and XCD. BGF has extensive experience in the technology sector. Find out more about how to get in touch by visiting their website.
If considering a business owner looking for funding, you have probably come across CrowdCube. But in case you expected, it’s a platform where companies can give investors the chance to invest in their company in exchange for a percentage of equity. Since its founding, more than 1000 companies have raised funds via CrowdCube totalling £ 1.01bn. CrowdCube is open for all types of companies regardless of their sector, some of the companies in the South West that have recently raised funds in CrowdCube include Cornish Lithium, Asbestoprobe and Service Robotics.
Because of the flexible nature of the platform, companies at all stages can give use of CrowdCube. Investment range can go from £ 50k up to £ 8m. In the past two years, 33 companies in the South West raised a total of £ 24.65M.
Seedrs was founded in 2012 and, similarly to CrowdCube, it’s an equity crowdfunding platform. The main difference between Seedrs and CrowdCube is their deal structure. CrowdCube uses both a direct ownership model and a nominee structure model while Seedrs only offers a nominee structure model. The nominee structure model means the platform holds the legal title to shares in a given business for the benefit of individuals who invested in that business. In effect, while investors do not have voting or direction power over the shares, they hold the full economic interest in them.
In the past two years, companies in the South West have raised a total of £ 21M in equity funding via Seedrs, some of which are Equilibrium Markets, Lupe technology and Yellowdog. Find out more about the whole process by visiting their official website.
In 2016, they launched the Foresight Williams Technology EIS Fund in collaboration with Williams Advanced Engineering. The Fund usually invests between £ 0.5M and £ 3M on each company and aims at investing in at least 10 companies that meet the investment criteria over a two-year period. During the past two years, Open bionics, Insphere and Rovco received over £ 11M in equity investment by the fund.
The fund invests exclusively in tech companies. Companies that have developed an innovative technology, a clear path to commercialization and offer a market opportunity greater than £ 100M are all welcome to apply. Find out more information about the fund and the application process in their website.