June: the month of sunshine, the SPARKIES and endless weekends of festivals. Well not this year. It’s been a rather different month in many more ways than this little list. Thankfully though, the investment scene is looking jolly positive locally with a little over £8.5m raised across 4 different companies in the West of England in June alone. This compares pretty favourably with the same period last year when we saw 8 companies raise £3.4m between them. 

This short observation period is reflective of a pattern that is being reported across the investment landscape – there are fewer investments happening and larger ticket sizes on the whole. 

Only one of those four companies has announced their funding publicly which gives us something specific to celebrate. Amdaris received an investment of £6m from BGF. Amdaris is an industry-leading software developer and digital transformation specialist and the investment will support its organic and acquisitive growth strategy. BGF is an investment partner for growing companies in every sector of the economy offering patient capital with backing from five high street banks.

The other three of those four companies have raised c. £3.5m between them and have not disclosed information about their raise so I’m afraid I can’t tell you any more on that front! 

This month we have also seen two events run by the Investment Activator Programme to support the investment ecosystem locally. First, the team ran the Quarterly Investment Briefing (QIB). These events are run once a quarter with a goal to help the investor community to network, share and learn. There is also an opportunity for local companies to submit their one page investment proposition to be shared with the community of c. 300 investors and enablers of investment. This month saw 24 companies submit their executive summaries raising £11.5m between them. You can read more about the event here

The second event that happened in June was ‘Pitch Me’ – these are more informal events that are designed to help founders to practice and refine their pitch. We selected three companies to pitch at this event – ranging from gaming to AI powered marketing tools. We will be running this style of event throughout 2020 so get in touch if you would like to pitch, or share your expert advice with the pitchers. 

The end of June also marked the completion of the first 6 months of the Investment Activator Programme so we have been reflecting on what we have achieved so far and the work still left to do. We’ve been tracking our social media reach which hit the heady heights of a little over 130,000 across LinkedIn and Twitter, we’ve also run 10 events so far this year and published 36 articles on the theme of investment. But our most impressive statistic by far is the cumulative amount of equity funding raised so far in the region – a little over £144m.

This article is written as part of the Investment Activator Programme (IAP). This programme is run by TechSPARK and is kindly sponsored by TLT LLP, delaware, Smith & Williamson, West of England Combined Authority, UWE, Sanderson, Engine Shed and Rocketmakers.

If you are an investor and you would like to receive the regular newsletter and event invitations for the QIB, please find more information: https://www.scaleupgenerator.co.uk/articles/qib-101

And finally, if you are a founder, you are raising investment and you would like to submit your one page proposition for the next event, please find more information at the bottom of this page.

P.S. We’re not entirely sure when the SPARKies will be coming this year. Obviously, public health and social responsibility will be taking precedence. But as soon as it’s safe we’ll be ready to celebrate the amazing tech scene in the West of England.