February might be the second and shortest month in the year but that hasn’t had any impact on the fast-flowing investment news. In addition to the five great investment stories we shared in January, 2020 continues to go from strength to strength for Bristol, Bath and surrounds. 

The South West’s top investment news

Graphcore has been hitting the headlines with the announcement of a further round of $150m investment. The funding, an extension to their Series D round which was announced in December 2018, brings the total investment in Graphcore to date to over $450 million at a valuation of $1.95 billion. The funds will support the company’s continuing, major R&D investment and global expansion. 

Read more: Graphcore Secure £150 million in new capital

In addition to this significant investment, London Stock Exchange welcomed Bath-based Inspecs at the London Stock Exchange. Inspecs, a leading designer, manufacturer and distributor of eyewear frames to global retail chains became the first IPO of 2020 to raise money on AIM. The Company has successfully raised £94.0 million through a placing and subscription, giving it a market capitalisation on Admission of £138.0 million. The gross proceeds for the Company will be used to support its organic growth, undertake further acquisitions and extend the Group’s manufacturing capacity. 

Read more: London stock exchange welcomes inspecs group

And on a slightly smaller and still very significant note, Anaphite, a Bristol-based company that produces metal oxide-graphene nanocomposites announced a successful raise of £425k which is in addition to over £500k grant funding they have already raised. Business Leader helpfully described the company as ‘looking at new ways of using advanced materials, including the development of an “electronic nose”’ which perhaps makes more sense to us lay people than oxide-graphene nanocomposites! 

Read more: Anaphite recieve 425k investment from local entrepreneurs

There were two more local companies that raised equity investment – a tech company in Gloucestershire and a Bristol-based company in another sector but these investments were not announced publicly.

That brings the investment total in February to £150,560,000.

Are you raising money?

If you are seeking investment at the moment, there are a few ways that the Investment Activator Programme can help:


  1. Apply to Silicon Gorge where the final 12 companies will pitch for investment of £100k – £5M: http://techspark.co/blog/2020/02/03/silicon-gorge-applications-open/ (deadline 3 March)
  2. Submit a one-page summary of your investment proposition for the next Quarterly Investment Briefing. This will be shared in hard copy at the event and then via an email newsletter the following day. Your one pager and (optional) pitch deck will be stored on a password protected website which investors can access directly: https://www.scaleupgenerator.co.uk/articles/qib-101 (deadline 23 March)
  3. Practice your pitch at ‘Pitch Me’ meetup on 4 March, this is a chance to practice your pitch in an informal, friendly environment: https://www.meetup.com/TechSPARKbristol/events/khtznrybcfbgb/

Are you looking to invest?

For investors looking for investment opportunities, we recently shared our latest newsletter and included some key events on the horizon. If you want to receive the next newsletter, you can sign up here (https://techspark.us3.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=69f99751d95fd7613a0851b89&id=bbce93b57e):

+ Silicon Gorge Pitch Competition: Investor showcase

When: Thursday 29 April at a Central Bristol venue tbc

Some say that it’s ‘The best pitch competition in the West’ – this event will provide an opportunity to see 10-15 companies pitch their businesses whether they are seeking seed funding, Series A or a later stage.


 + UKBAA A-Z of Angel Investing

When: 30 April, 11am – 1pm, Engine Shed, BS1 6QH

Taking a leap into the exciting world of angel investing, but not sure where to start? Join us for the A-Z of Angel Investing workshop as we explore how to build a diverse portfolio of early stage investments & more! 


 + South West Angel Investment Forum

When: 30 April, 1-6pm, Engine Shed, BS1 6QH

The forum will welcome guest speakers from across the UK including an array of women angel investors bringing their perspectives to our interactive debates and inspiring founders speaking on their journey building a high-growth business. https://www.womenangelsforum.org/

 + BVCA High Growth

When: 14 May, 1 – 5:30pm, To be announced, central Bristol

This year, High Growth goes nationwide with a new two-day format in London and half-day forums across the UK. Hear from innovative entrepreneurs, dynamic management teams and experienced investors as they share their insights on what it takes to succeed in today’s environment. From start-ups to scale-ups, High Growth connects capital with business.