UK VC investment boosted by government funds

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UK VC investment boosted by government funds

During 2009 the VC investment market in the UK and Ireland suffered its most rapid decline since the bursting of the internet/telecoms bubble in 2000, according to the technology focused investment group Ascendant.

In 2009, £622m was invested compared to £1,001m in 2008, says Ascendant. The number of deals done in 2009 was 194 – 24% less than in 2008.

Q1 saw a near 65% drop in activity but there was a modest bounce back in Q2 and Q3. Q4 saw relatively few completions.

In 2009, £622m was invested in 194 deals of over £0.5m by 187 investors.

The busiest investors were Enterprise Ireland, Scottish Enterprise, Octopus Ventures, Accel and Atlas Ventures.

Private investors participation in VC deals rose to 22% up from 19% in 2008

The 10 biggest deals included: O3b Networks (£43m), Ocado (£30m), Imperative Energy (£27m), Intune Networks (£19m), Wonga (£19m), Intelligent Energy (£18m), Skyvision Holdings (£15m), Picochip (£12m), TMO Renewables (£11m) and Viagogo (£11m).

There were five primary areas of investment focus – Cleantech (£176m), Internet/Wireless Services (£150m), Comms Hardware (£86m), Software (£79m) and Semiconductors/Opto (£74m).

For the first time in Ascendant’s data, Cleantech was the sector most favoured by investors. Investment in the subsector increased by 63% and giving it 28% of all funds invested.

The key deals included: Imperative Energy (£27m), Intelligent Energy (£18m), TMO Renewables (£11m) and Aquamarine Power (£10m).

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