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BGF invests over £60m in the Thames Valley and Solent region

BGF News 01.17.2022

BGF, the UK and Ireland’s most active investor, is celebrating a record year of investment activity in the Thames Valley and Solent region in 2021 after investing over £60 million in the local growth economy.

BGF is a long-term patient investor, making initial investments between £1 million to £15 million for a minority equity stake. It backs ambitious teams across a range of sectors and funds a variety of growth plans.

Strong regional momentum comes off the back of a significant year for BGF as a whole, which has seen the growth capital investor complete 67 new deals and invest £600 million over the course of 2021 – a record year that underlines BGF’s critical contribution to the UK’s growth economy.

Key investments by the Reading team in 2021 include a £10.5 million minority investment in e2e-assure, a fast-growth cybersecurity business based in Oxfordshire; and a £10 million investment in Polar Technology, another Oxfordshire-based business which manufactures high-performance carbon and metal components for the automotive, medical and aerospace/defence sectors. Most recently, BGF completed an £8 million investment in Operational Solutions, a leading counter drone technologies business based in Reading.

In 2021, BGF also continued to support its portfolio by providing follow-on funding to a number of existing investee companies in the region, including a further £8 million to AND Digital, the fast growth tech consultancy based in Maidenhead to fast-track international expansion; and a multi-million follow-on investment in Reading-based Invenio, a global provider of SAP enterprise solutions and consultancy for the public sector, to support its merger with LSI consulting.

The Thames Valley and Solent region is home to a diverse range of fast growth businesses which includes some of the biggest tech players in the world. We’ve been fortunate to have played a key role in scaling many of these businesses this year. There has been record breaking deal activity despite the ongoing challenges of the pandemic, and our investments have helped many of our portfolio companies to follow their ambitions to achieve growth both in the UK and internationally. We expect this level of deal activity to continue well into 2022 and beyond.

Ned Dorbin, head of BGF’s investment team in Reading

2021 was also a good year for exits in the region. In September, BGF announced the successful exit of HeleCloud, a leading independent AWS Premier Consulting Partner, following its acquisition by SoftwareONE Holding AG, a global provider of end-to-end software and Cloud technology solutions.

“This year’s success reaffirms the value of our model in supporting ambitious management teams to grow a larger business ahead of their eventual exit – it is a solution that works well. As long-term minority partners we’re committed to working in partnership with the businesses we back through strategic input and support. We’re confident the region’s businesses have the growth potential, talent, and appetite to make 2022 another good year, and we’re excited about supporting them on that journey.”