BGF South West office invests record £115m in high-growth business in 2021

January 20, 2022

Investments by the South West team of growth finance group BGF passed the £100m mark for the first time last year as it continued its strong run of funding ambitious businesses.

The team injected £115m of equity into firms in 2021 – a 72% increase on 2020’s total and more than three times that of 2019. 

The new investments take BGF’s total funding in the South West to more than £500m since it opened in Bristol in 2011.

Key investments by the team last year included £13.5m into Exeter-based property developer Burrington Estates to support its growth plans and Bristol-based XCD, the cloud-based HR and Payroll software provider, with a further £3m of follow-on funding to support its acquisition of Hireserve, a recruitment software company.

Early-stage funding was provided to University of Bristol spin-out Forefront RF to help launch its disruptive technology for the global smartphone market.

Additional investments completed during 2021 included £8m in Operational Solutions, a leading counter drone technologies business based in Reading, a £10.5m minority investment in fast-growth Oxfordshire-based cybersecurity business e2e-assure, and £14m for South Wales-based Victorian Sliders, the UK’s only fully integrated, specialist manufacturer of uPVC sash windows. 

BGF head of the South West and Wales Ned Dorbin, pictured, said “We are extremely fortunate to have so many brilliant, diverse and ambitious businesses based in our region.

“They have shown themselves to be incredibly resilient to the ongoing challenges faced by the pandemic and have their sights firmly set on growth, both in the UK and internationally.

“We’re delighted to be supporting many of these companies as they move forward with their plans – through our combination of growth capital and strategic business support.”

He said the team was looking forward to another active year of supporting high-quality businesses that have the appetite to scale.

“With an abundance of talented business owners looking to capitalise on the opportunities head on, we’re looking forward to supporting new and exciting companies as they look to scale,” he added.

Nationally BGF, which makes initial investments between £1m and £15m for a minority equity stake, invested a record total of £600m last year in 67 new deals while also making 39 portfolio exits.

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