Gosh what a weekend. In case you missed it, on Friday 10 March, Silicon Valley Bank, (SVB, the preferred bank for the tech sector) collapsed, leading the Bank of England and HM Treasury to strike a deal with HSBC to buy the UK bank for £1. The drama saw organisations and individuals across the sector rally together to lobby Government and support those affected directly. A collective sigh of relief was felt yesterday morning as the HSBC deal was announced, along with a slight sense of trepidation as we all consider what the medium and longer term impacts of this whirlwind might be. 

As always though, I bring you some happier news, with 14 companies raising in excess of £22.5 million in equity funding across the South West in February. Of those, eight have announced their funding news publicly – read on to find out more. 

Boomsatsuma

Bristol-based specialist creative education provider boomsatsuma is to double its capacity and create more than 20 jobs this year after receiving a £500,000 capital investment from Bristol & Bath Regional Capital. Boomsatsuma has been connecting students to the creative industries with its digital education programmes since 2008.

Fixit

The company behind a next-generation drainage catheter fixation device has secured a £100,000 investment from Igraine. Fixit, a research and experimental development firm focused on social sciences and humanities, is the sole owner, designer and developer of Cingo. The product features catheter fixation technology through a pull-force dissipating design and an estimated two-week wear time.

Kelpi

Climate tech innovator Kelpi has secured more than £3 million fundraising to advance its pioneering technology creating biomaterial coatings from seaweed. The funding round will bring sustainable packaging for the food & drink and cosmetics sectors a step closer to supermarket shelves.

Kelpi’s seed round was led by Science Creates Ventures and Green Angel Syndicate, with funding from One Planet Capital and follow-on investment from Bristol Private Equity Club (BPEC), together with private angel investors. The round includes £665,000 of grant funding from Innovate UK’s Combined Investor Partnership.

North Sea Systems

North Sea Systems, a leading provider of innovative survey solutions that support the marine renewable energy and offshore construction industries, has announced a new investment raise, in a deal advised on by the GS Verde Group. The only company dedicated to developing and operating survey systems for marine energy environments, North Sea Systems offers a unique solution for the installation of subsea power cables. 

Refined Brands

A Cornwall-based group behind a portfolio of ethically sourced, natural and sustainable British businesses has completed a £6.75m equity funding round, with £1.5m coming from the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Investment Fund (CIOSIF). Refined Brands was founded in February 2021 by Refined Capital Partners, the investment company for a group of committed retailers including Ben Barnett, former chief executive of TFG London, and retail veterans Michael Rahamim and Lee Harlow.

Silverfish

Silverfish has announced that it has joined the ranks of cycling distributors that have recently secured further investment to guarantee the business is able to tackle well-publicised industry headwinds and maintain a growth trajectory as the supply chain settles. The significant new financial support comes through a shareholder funding round led by alternative investments specialist Connection Capital.

Smart Green

Smart Green Shipping is a systems design and engineering company based in Dumfries that is developing unique retrofit sails and technology for sustainable commercial ships and is celebrating further growth following a £1.35 million investment round.

TUGDOCK

A company behind a road transportable floating dry dock used by developers and ports in the floating offshore wind industry has secured investment from Sarens. Tugdock Ltd has struck a partnership with the crane rental services firm, with the agreement involving Sarens backing the business. Lucas Lowe-Houghton, director of business development for Tugdock, says, “The floating offshore wind sector is expected to continue to grow rapidly.

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.

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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.