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BGF invests over £165m in London and the South East in 2021

BGF News 01.17.2022
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BGF, the UK and Ireland’s most active investor, today announces details of its 2021 investment activity in London and the South East, marking a record overall year for the fund.

BGF invested over £165 million in London and the South East in 2021, including 18 new investments, while continuing to provide growth capital and follow-on funding for its existing portfolio.

Notable deals in the region include multi-million-pound investments in energy data and analytics provider Stark, plant-based alternative meat company THIS, and omni channel BMX retailer, Source BMX. BGF also led the £70 million Series C funding round for Elvie, the revolutionary global health and lifestyle brand developing iconic products for women.

In the same time period, BGF completed nine successful exits in the region. These included Cennox, a leading provider of ATM services; Clearway, a vacant property services business; and Dianomi, a provider of native digital advertising services – all of which yielded a high return on BGF’s capital.

There have been a number of investments in the South East’s flourishing life sciences sector, including BGF leading a £33 million investment round into biopharmaceutical company, PhoreMost; leading an £8.5 million investment into virtual oncology business, Entia; and facilitating a £13 million follow-on investment into healthcare company, Closed Loop Medicine.

In 2021, BGF continued to back companies driving the green economy, with an investment in Reactive Technologies, whose technology is helping to accelerate the clean energy transition.

The last 12 months also saw the appointment of industry veteran Nicol Fraser to lead its investment team in London and the South East. Nicol joined from private equity firm Dunedin where he was a partner in the business. In addition to Fraser’s appointment, BGF onboarded six new investors: Bethany Shiers who joined from CIL Management Consultants, Kamel Kasem from L.E.K. Consulting, Isabella Fox from PwC, Adele Sung of Citi, Dennis Atkinson from ePlanet Capital and Simon Steward who became a permanent member of team following a period of consulting for BGF.

Given the ongoing challenges of the pandemic, it’s now more important than ever that we demonstrate our commitment to backing even more founders and entrepreneurs in London and the South East. We are proud to have invested in a wealth of new businesses, in addition to supporting the growth of many of our existing portfolio companies.

Nicol Fraser, Head of London and the South East

Across the UK and Ireland, BGF invested £600 million across 67 deals over the course of 2021, a 55% increase in investment compared to 2020. Total investment since 2011 also passed the £3 billion milestone, as BGF celebrated its 10th anniversary with the most successful year in its history.

Nicol added: “These record levels of investment underscore the sustained demand for growth capital that exists in the UK, and the funding gap that BGF has been filling for the past decade. BGF is viewed as an increasingly attractive and dynamic investment partner, and we’re extremely proud that our differentiated funding model and patient capital approach is playing such an important role in the long-term growth potential of the UK economy.”