Political and macro-economic uncertainty played an increasing role in 2017, at times threatening to stall ambition, or weakening the confidence or capacity of some businesses to move forward with their strategic plans.
There were, however, also clear signs of resilience in terms of investment and activity. The UK was the only European country to surpass 2016 deal volumes – a positive trend particularly amid the uncertainty of Brexit.
More and more business owners are recognising that with strong financial backing and genuine support there are as many opportunities as there are challenges, and that growth is out there.
Last year, BGF invested in close to 50 companies across many different sectors and regions, bringing the total number of businesses we back to more than 200. We are proud to have invested more than £310m which included £100m in additional funding to existing portfolio companies, supporting their growth with long-term patient capital. Many have used our funding to expand internationally, grow their teams, acquire a company or make significant capital investments in their infrastructure and operations. This long-term thinking is key for future success in the UK.
As detailed in this report, BGF’s growth also continued apace in 2017. We launched in the Republic of Ireland, opened new offices, grew our team of investors, invested in our technology platform and evolved our brand.
At the heart of this expansion is a unique culture, a combined approach and team committed to supporting the aspirations and successes of the businesses we back, focused on driving even greater investment activity across all stages – from earlier stage through to smaller quoted companies – in 2018 and beyond.