In terms of equity investment and announced grant funding, May has been a quiet month for the West of England (Bristol, Bath, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire) according to our data. 

Our most significant equity investment news in May comes from Bristol-based Space Forge. The company, developing a way for materials to be built in space in a bid to lower the impact of manufacturing on the earth’s environment, has secured a £600k of funding package from the Development Bank of Wales (DBW), alongside Bristol Private Equity Club (BPEC) and Innovate UK. 

The £600K also included investment from the SETsquared run Regional Angel Investment Accelerator (RAIA) alongside BPEC and DBW. This funding will help the company continue developing their reusable manufacturing satellite, ramp up their capability in Newport, Wales and Bristol and build upon UK and European partnership schemes.

Read more on this story.

A smaller piece of funding news was announced by Cakesmiths, a company based in Bristol that bakes and wholesales cakes, pastries and other baked goods. Cakesmiths secured a loan from Lloyds Bank which will safeguard jobs at the bakery.

We also saw the announcement of the Future Fund from the Government, operated by the British Business Bank and offering £250m to support the country’s most innovative companies. In the first 20 days since it opened on the 20th of May, the Fund has seen applications from over 533 companies and has successfully approved the first 53 companies for Future Fund convertible loans valued £55.9m. 

We’ve also seen two Silicon Gorge profiles published this month, highlighting two companies that are currently seeking investment: Stornaway (an application that lets producers create interactive films easily, without coding) and Calyo (developing ‘sound’ vision sensor systems that will enable robots, platforms, and blind people to perceive the environment in real time).

A cheeky update from June

As I’m a little late coming to the investment update this month, I can’t let this article pass without mentioning the positive news we have already seen in June – BGF funding to the tune of £6m for Amdaris and a successful $700k pre-seed round for Tickitto.

We have also seen two new funds released in early June to support local companies (West of England) that are seeking to innovate digitally:

  1. University of the West of England Digital Innovation Fund – a £1M fund available as £10k-40k for your business to fund 35% of project costs related to digital innovation. https://www.digitalinnovationfund.co.uk/
  2. TechSPARK and West of England Combined Authority ‘Trading better online’ programme – funding to cover up to 4 days of consultancy work to develop and enhance your web presence https://www.wearegrowth.co.uk/covid-19/trading-better-online/

Last but not least, pitch practice opportunity:

Finally, for those people seeking some more informal feedback on their pitches, we are looking forward to the PitchMe event happening on July 8th where 3 or 4 people will have a chance to receive feedback on their pitch remotely. This is perfect for anyone new to pitching, or new to pitching online. It’s also a handy opportunity to trial a new approach to your pitch. And for those of us who don’t yet have a business to pitch, the event is open to spectators so you can learn from the tips our experts share too.  

Sign up to attend here or email Abby@techspark.co if you would like to pitch and receive feedback.