Home Market A shot in the arm for the UK’s future unicorns

A shot in the arm for the UK’s future unicorns


UK and European tech start-ups are being starved of the growth capital they need to scale up and become the Googles, Facebooks and Amazons of tomorrow.

Although startup funding in the UK is in abundance, with seed and series A round sizes increasing over the past five years, the UK is lagging in its ability to scale startups into high-achieving companies, with the report going on to conclude that there are comparatively fewer young, large listed companies in the UK compared to the US.

As a result, UK and European tech startups who are crying out for the capital they need to scale up arent making that jump to the next stage.

Consequently, it comes as no surprise that, in data released from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the EUs share of late-stage investment has decreased from 62 per cent to 43 per cent, totalling 0.01 per cent of the EUs GDP contribution to total late-stage investment amounts.

Read more: The UK has been crowned the tech unicorn capital of Europe

The result? A lack of growth capital at precisely the time it is most needed by those firms looking to grow and establish their businesses, despite the fact that there is a wall of institutional money that is crying out for further investment in technology companies given the dearth of initial public offerings in the tech sector.

We took the decision to list our business on the stock market back in 2016 to address both of these issues, providing entrepreneurs with the financing they need to grow their companies and investors with an alternative way to play high-growth tech firms. Since then, weve backed 22 businesses, investing £140m in high-growth firms spanning everything from electric car charging points and employee engagement platforms, through to digital healthcare providers and fintech businesses.

In each case, weve backed brilliant management teams that have been attracted to the fact that, unlike other venture capital firms, were not tied to the usual five-year cycles of investment.

Todays decision by the British Business Bank to launch a £2.5bn British Patient Capital programme will see them enable investment in innovative, high-growth companies across the UK – a massive shot in the arm for precisely those sorts of entrepreneurs who want long-term funding to fuel their growth plans.

Read more: Fintech: Investors' new favourite

Just as importantly, it is a huge vote of confidence by the UK government in the important role that startup technology firms can play in helping to drive our economy.

By empowering the founders of the future, UK entrepreneurs will now have the ability to grow the companies that will shape the global technology landscape, safe in the knowledge that their investors are in it for the long term and the government is stood shoulder-to-shoulder with them.

For our part, the evergreen investment from the British Patient Capital fund is also a ringing endorsement of our model and track record of supporting ambitious UK businesses such as Perkbox, Lyst, and Graze and we are delighted to welcome them on board as part of our latest fundraise.

Patience may be a virtue, but it takes dedication, ambition and faith to make things happen. The entrepreneurs we have worked with over the years had all of these qualities in spades; todays launch of British Patient Capital shows that the UK government does as well.


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