In the UK and Ireland, trade and strategic investors (TSI) are a significant part of the venture scene in the technology sector. According to Ascendant, TSIs have made up about a fifth of the UK and Ireland technology investment pool since 2007.
Last year, there were 214 tech investments, excluding life sciences, worth an aggregate £621m in private UK and Irish companies, down from 255 worth £1bn in 2008. By way of comparison, the all-time peak of the UK and Irish market came in 2001 when £3.5bn was invested in 482 companies.
The chart sets out the deals Ascendant has tracked which have involved a TSI. The actual size of a TSI’s investment in a particular deal is not always disclosed so the numbers indicate the total value of the transaction rather than the TSI’s contribution.
The chart shows that TSIs have participated in a growing number of deals over the period – some 13% of all deals in 2010. As both volumes and the value of investment in the market as a whole has dropped over this period, this makes TSIs a significant investment group of investors in technology. However, the average deal size of the transactions in which TSIs have been involved has halved from about £9m in 2007 to £4.5m last year. This latter figure is much more in line with the average deal size of £2.9m for the market as a whole.