July is, according to Wikipedia “the seventh month of the year (between June and August) in the Julian and Gregorian Calendars and the fourth of seven months to have a length of 31 days.” A little more adventurous online research also tells me that July used to be called Quintilis – the Roman word for “fifth” as it was the fifth month of the Roman year and it was later changed to July by the ruler of Roman world, Julius Caesar, after his family name (Julius). 

More importantly, it is also the month in which we in the West of England have seen 4 companies raise equity investment which totals a little over £2.5m.

Of those 4 companies, 2 have publicly disclosed their investment news – 

  1. OurPeople announced a raise of $2million on 3rd July. The Bristol-based company, founded by Ross McCaw, provides a secure platform to help businesses communicate with their employees, ensuring teams are connected instantly. OurPeople primarily works in industries with large numbers of deskless workers, including high profile clients West Ham United Foundation, Virgin Active UK, Paulton’s Park and Serco Leisure. During the global COVID-19 pandemic OurPeople has seen record usage of its platform with more businesses than ever using it to communicate critical information to colleagues. Read more: https://techspark.co/blog/2020/07/03/ourpeople-raise-2m-in-series-a/
  2. Snack brand Boundless is aiming to bring activated nuts and seeds to the masses and has announced a £1m fundraise to support its next phase of growth and expansion to Europe. The company was founded by commodities trader-turned-entrepreneur Cathy Moseley, and launched to market in November 2017. Read more: https://bdaily.co.uk/articles/2020/07/20/snack-brand-set-for-boundless-international-growth-with-1m-fundraise

Over the last month, I was lucky to join the team at TechSW for their monthly Gathering event which gave me the chance to investigate data patterns related to investment happening across the wider South West geography. At the event I shared a couple of data points that I thought would be of interest from an investment perspective too:

  • Beauhurst tells me that there are 82 companies that have raised equity investment since the start of April across the South West. Between them they have raised £89million and 23 companies have raised £1million or more. 
  • 85,000 online businesses launched during lockdown in the UK with the South West seeing the most businesses launch eCommerce offerings in relation to the total number of businesses in the region. An impressive 4170 online shops were created. https://www.uktech.news/news/85000-businesses-launch-online-shops-as-lockdown-creates-digital-economy-boom-20200703 

Investment events on the horizon

July also saw three founders practice their pitch at the TechSPARK PitchMe event – from AI-powered diversity to Bristol-based gaming, the event was a real eye-opener. If you would like to practice your pitch in front of a friendly audience and receive feedback from some of the most experienced pitch reviewers in the region, you can get in touch with Abby to sign up for the next event in September (abby@techspark.co).

Briony Phillips

Briony is Scaleup Lead at Rocketmakers, a software development agency that designs, develops and deploys technology for startups, scaleups and corporations. Briony champions the scale-up business ecosystem and works with partners across the public and private sector to deliver content, events and resources that help to overcome challenges faced by fast-growth companies such as access to investment and office space availability.