What a month! More than £90 million pounds has been raised between 20 South West companies since the start of June. Often with such a big total, you would expect that one company had scooped the vast majority but this month it is particularly pleasing that nine of those companies raised £1 million or more. If you aren’t a regular reader, you might be interested to know that I write a quick investment update from an equity perspective at the end of each month – I’ve been doing it since the start of 2020 and this is by far one of our most bountiful and well-distributed months!
So who are these companies you may ask, and where are they? Well six of the 20 are in Bristol, three in Cornwall, a couple in South Gloucestershire and a couple more in Swindon and Wiltshire. The remaining seven are scattered across the South West of England from Cheltenham to Bournemouth and much more between. In terms of sectors, there’s a pretty broad spread – fintech, cyber, FMCG, media, minerals, petfood and a couple of greentech companies too.
Of the 20 companies, half have disclosed their raise publicly and you might have heard me mention a few of them at the recent Quarterly Investment Briefing. For those of you that missed that event, here’s a quick run-down:
- Immersive Labs (which provides online training services for businesses, focusing on gamification to teach cyber security) announced $78 million
- Hybrid News (which owns and operates a number of digital media outlets aimed at young people considering attending university abroad) received £13 million from private equity firm LDC to support growth and targeted acquisitions
- Cushon (which operates a comparison website that lists a number of investment funds and ISAs) raised £26 million including £6 million equity raise from Augmentum Fintech and £20 million credit facility from Ashgrove Capital.
- Cornish Lithium (which explores the potential for lithium mining in Cornwall) raised £6 million in an oversubscribed crowdfunding campaign valuing their business at just over £80 million
- KETS Quantum Security (which develops technology that uses quantum key distribution and random number generation to increase digital security) raised £3.1 million to bring to market hardware to protect data from a new generation of cyberattacks that will use quantum computers to break through all existing encryption protections.
- INSPHERE (which develops automated measuring products and services for the manufacturing sector) closed a £1 million round with Foresight Williams Technology Fund
- Bedfolk (which manufactures and sells a range of bedding via its website) raised £1 million from investment firm True to expand the collection and add new product lines
- ReadyGo Diagnostics, registered in Wiltshire, raised £300k from Foresight Group via the Midlands Engine Investment Fund. ReadyGo develops self-testing kits for a range of infectious diseases.
- Bristol-based Payaca raised £400k via Bristol Private Equity Group and Syndicate Room. Payaca develops software designed to help tradespeople and homeowners find financing for home improvements.
- Orbital Chat (develops a virtual office that aims to improve collaboration for remote teams) were one of the first three investments from the Haatch SEIS fund.
With so many successful raises across the South West in the month of June, I hope we’re set for a pretty exciting second half of the year. If you’re an angel or VC investor and you’d like to be connected with companies like these, raising equity funds, do get in touch – our details are below.
This article is written as part of the Investment Activator Programme (IAP) in the West of England. This programme is run by TechSPARK and is kindly sponsored by TLT LLP, delaware, West of England Combined Authority, UWE, Sanderson, Engine Shed and Rocketmakers. Find out more about the IAP.
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