UK and Ireland is sharply up this year, reports Ascendant, the tech-focused investment group.
‘In Q1, £307m (up 39% from £221m in Q1 2011) was invested in 64 UK/Irish companies (42 in Q1 2011) by 99 investors (72 in Q1 2011),’ says Ascendant.
“This is quite a startling set of numbers particularly when one considers that in Q4 last year when just £129m was invested in 48 deals,” says Stuart McKnight, managing director of Ascendant, “on closer inspection, it can be seen that the figures are distorted by 4 large Cleantech deals which attracted over £120m between them. It would be wrong to say that these are complete outliers but if they are discounted the general trends are much more consistent with those of recent quarters and reflective of our real life day-to-day experience that the market is quite tight at this time.”
The busiest investors were Accel, Enterprise Ireland, IP Group, the Business Growth Fund and Index.
66% of deals involved more than one investor; Private investors participated in 23% of VC deals; US investors contributed to 7 deals, European investors 5 and corporate investors 6;
The 10 biggest deals (with disclosed values) consumed 61% of funds invested, included: Tamar Energy (£65m), Bluewater Bio (£23m), Intelligent Energy (£22m), Unruly Media (£16m), Farfetch (£12m), Hailo (£11m), Mainstream Renewable Power (£11m), GCI Telecom (£10m), Mythings (£10m), Bactest (£9m).
One especially positive trend was the bounce in the number of investors participating the market.