South: BGF invests in 16 businesses across the region

BGF, the UK and Ireland’s most active investor in growing businesses, has committed £2 billion into UK and Irish SMEs from its balance sheet of £2.5b, £137 million of which has been invested in SMEs across the South of England.

The landmark capital investment was reached following £7.5m of growth funding for Merseyside-based manufacturer Joloda International, as well as BGF’s most active day ever for capital deployment in mid-June, with a total of £48m committed.

BGF has backed 16 businesses based across Oxfordshire, Berkshire, Hampshire and Dorset, with a number of businesses receiving follow on funding to support further growth. Recent investments include Reading-based business technology solutions provider Invenio and AWS cloud-based services business Helecloud in Maidenhead.

From scratch, BGF has now backed 285 companies across the UK and Ireland since it was set up in 2011, providing growth funding in every region and almost every sector of the economy.

The investor has also recently made several successful exits, including Oxford-based email marketing software group Adestra andReading-based online garden retailer Primrose. The proceeds of these exits are recycled back to BGF’s £2.5b balance sheet as an intrinsic part of its evergreen funding model.

James Austin, an investor at BGF and head of its Reading office, said: “When BGF was set up in 2011, our aim was to establish a new type of investment model that was regionally focused to support businesses and entrepreneurs across all regions of the UK over a long-term horizon.

“In the last eight years we have backed some of the most exciting and ambitious entrepreneurs across the Thames Valley and the Solent, all of which are helping to drive economic activity, and increase employment exports and growth. We’re looking forward to seeing more entrepreneurs using our capital to scale up and accelerate growth in the future. Our regional presence is proving invaluable in providing genuine local support to ambitious owner managers.”

Early this year BGF launched a new campaign, ‘Ready for Business’ – an initiative to see investors confidently advocate for continued growth, committing to entrepreneurs and investing in the age of uncertainty. BGF has delivered on this promise and recognises the need to do even more with a weakening economy and heightened concerns.

Stephen Welton, CEO of BGF, said: “The BGF model is not based on a conventional fund – we are a company, with a strong and liquid balance sheet, set up for long-term investing and long-term growth. This is a core part of our appeal to entrepreneurs, vital in meeting the funding gap for growth companies in Britain and Ireland, and I’m delighted to see our model being embraced and adopted internationally. This is a great example of the UK’s proven leadership in Financial Services, through carefully planned regulatory changes, to deliver a completely new investment model.”