On Thursday 23rd June 2022, we gathered at Engine Shed for the second Quarterly Investment Briefing of the year. The Quarterly Investment Briefing is an opportunity for investors to network, share and learn and for us to collate information about all those founders currently raising investment to share far and wide. We began this event with celebrations of the latest investment news in the region:

  • Nearly £103m in equity investment has been raised by 74 companies since our last meeting on 23rd March. 16 of which raised £1m or more, and 11 of which raised between £500k and £999k
  • Tumelo (a Bristol-based team developing a mobile investment app, that aims to help users finance businesses and causes they’re passionate about) closed a round of $19m
  • Silas Adekunle’s latest business, Reach Industries, has been backed by Google
  • Octopus Ventures have opened their first ever pre-seed fund to the tune of £10m 

After a pretty energetic and celebratory start, the real content began. I offered a potted history (with a few pot holes) of funds in the South West, the revised version is as follows:

  • 2008 Eden Ventures launched and went on to invest in 19 companies according to Beauhurst
  • 2012 Earth Capital launched, founder by Stephen Lansdowne and investing in energy reduction and cleantech.
  • 2014 Cornwall and Isles of Sciliy fund launched
  • 2014 Webstart Bristol (more an incubator with investment than a fund) launched and supported 19 companies across Bristol
  • 2017 Maven Capital opened an office in Bristol
  • 2018 Deepbridge Capital designate regional investment lead
  • 2018 Bristol and Bath Regional Capital launched Bristol City Funds
  • 2019 Business Innovation Fund (WECA) and Scaleup for Growth (UWE) grant funds launched offering 40% contribution to innovation projects for growing businesses
  • 2020 Newable launched £10m fund
  • 2020 Science Creates Ventures launched a £15m fund
  • 2022 Mercia Capital open Bristol office
  • 2022 QantX open Bristol office
  • 2023 British Business Bank hope to launch £200m SW Fund

As always, if I have missed any thing of substance, please drop me a line. 

I had arranged for Paul Jones, British Business Bank, Jake Ronay, Newable and Harry Alexander, QantX to share a quick summary of their funds to kick us off. Paul shared news of the SW Fund which was agreed in the last Government Spending Review – and due for launch in Spring 2023 (we hope). Harry offered an update on the investments made by QantX so far (particularly focused on the themes of enabling Net Zero, optimising healthcare and monetising data). Harry also took the opportunity to mention the new ‘challenge prize’ which they will be launching soon to drive early stage innovation. And finally, Jake Ronay explained the Newable funding offer which includes workspaces, advisory support, capital, private equity and ventures. From an equity perspective, they contribute £250k – £1m as part of £500k – £2m round. 

After their reverse pitches, our guests exercised their opinions and ideas in our panel discussion. We covered topics from ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) to equality, EIS to valuations and much more between. If you’d like to catch up with their views, check out the event video linked below.

After the panel discussion, I shared an update on the headline investment stats for the region before running through the details of the 12 companies that shared their investment proposition with me ahead of the event. These companies are raising £10.5m in total and if you would like to connect with them directly, please use the links below to register and review their pitch deck/ one page summary. 

Events Slides

This article is written as part of the Investment Activator Programme (IAP) in the West of England. This programme is run by TechSPARK and is kindly sponsored by TLT LLP, delaware, West of England Combined Authority, UWE, Sanderson, Engine Shed and Rocketmakers. Find out more about the IAP here.

If you are an investor and you would like to receive the regular newsletter and event invitations related to investment, please find more information and sign up here

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