BGF says 2021 was a record year of investment for the prolific growth investor.
BGF invested £600 million, including 67 new deals, over the course of 2021, a 55% increase in the total amount invested compared to 2020.
Nearly three quarters of the total sum invested was with companies based outside of London and the South East, thanks to the work of 16 local offices.
Total investment has passed the £3 billion milestone as BGF celebrates its 10th anniversary. Back in 2011 just £13 million was invested in three companies, while BGF has now backed over 460 companies.
Investments in the last year include the £70 million Series C funding round for global FemTech brand Elvie; £8.5m to high-growth Scottish IT group Kick ICT; £7.5m to Lancashire eCommerce company Fulfilment Crowd; £12m to North East procurement business Bloom; and £10.5m to Thames Valley cybersecurity firm e2e-assure.
Exits from portfolio companies were at a record high in 2021, with the 39 divestments representing a 40% increase on exits completed in 2020. Exits delivered in 2021 generated returns of £571m.
BGF said the upward trend on successful exits is evidence of the quality of its diversified portfolio and also testament to its ‘patient capital’ model.
“The record year of activity is testament to the fact that there is substantial demand for growth capital in the UK and Ireland, and entrepreneurs are seeking out an investment partner that can add value and support them on their scaling journey,” said executive chairman Stephen Welton.
“BGF is a trusted investment partner of real scale and impact today, giving further substance to our ambitions to help power innovation and growth across the whole economy.
“Given the ongoing challenging trading environment and uncertainties ahead, we need to ensure that ambitious and innovative entrepreneurs have access to sufficient growth capital to build the businesses that will fuel economic growth in the long run.
“We are confident that BGF can play a big part in delivering this.”