UK-based venture capital investment manager Deepbridge Capital has secured a £15m package from British Business Investments which it will use to fund early-stage businesses across the UK.
This commitment from British Business Investments’ Regional Angels Programme, which is designed to reduce regional imbalances in access to early-stage equity finance for smaller businesses across the UK, will be invested alongside Deepbridge’s own funding over the next three years.
It will match funds raised via Deepbridge’s private investors including the Deepbridge Technology Growth EIS and the Deepbridge Life Sciences EIS. Deepbridge’s EIS funds enable private investors to access a portfolio of early-stage companies within the UK’s technology and life sciences sectors and support a portfolio of knowledge-intensive businesses, across all regions of the UK.
Deepbridge saw a record year of EIS fundraising in 2020 with £29.4m deployed across 37 growth companies. it claimed.
The firm essentially aims to mentor and manage those businesses from the seed stage, through commercialisation and growth funding. Companies that benefited from Deepbridge’s EIS funding included high-purity Omega 3 oils producer AlgaeCytes, blockchain specialists Chainvine, drug-discovery company Elasmogen, cross-border e-commerce software company Hurricane Modular Commerce, vital signs monitoring specialists Metix, dysphagia management technology developer Viscgo, virtual and augmented reality software developers vTime and cancer diagnostic innovators Zilico.
Commenting on the fundraise. British Business Investments CEO Judith Hartley said, “Our Regional Angels Programme is designed to address imbalances in access to early stage finance in the UK and to increase the overall amount of capital available to smaller businesses through early stage investors such as Deepbridge. With this commitment from British Business Investments, Deepbridge will be able to increase its support for early-stage businesses across all regions of the UK, so they can flourish and grow.”
Echoing a similar sentiment, Deepbridge Capital managing partner Ian Warwick added, “Supporting high-growth businesses across all regions of the UK is at the heart of the Regional Angels Programme’s mandate, and we are delighted to be working with British Business Investments and thank them for their support. Innovative technology and life sciences companies will be fundamental to the UK’s economic recovery and BBI’s commitment to support our drive to identify, support and grow such companies is great news for our investee companies, investors and the wider UK economy.
“2020/21 represented a record year of fundraising for Deepbridge, which we believe not only shows considerable appetite for early-stage private equity amongst investors, but is also a continuing endorsement of our hands-on management style to supporting EIS-qualifying companies.”
The news follows the £11.1m invested into 14 North West businesses in the last 12 months via the Deepbridge Enterprise Investment Scheme funds. The region secured 38% of the total £29.4m deployed across the UK.
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