BGF invests £69 million in early-stage businesses in 2022

BGF’s early-stage team reported strong momentum in 2022, having invested £69 million in a range of innovative businesses in the UK & Ireland, predominantly operating in life sciences, climate & sustainability, and deep tech.

This includes £38 million of new investments and £31 million of follow-on funding dedicated to the existing portfolio. In addition to the funding provided by BGF, in 2022 alone the team has helped its portfolio of early-stage companies raise over £500 million of funding from third party investors.

Last year’s new investments included Cambridge-based functional genomics platform Enhanc3D Genomics, Aberdeen-based therapeutic biologics company Elasmogen, Reading-based sustainable home energy business Tepeo, Nottingham-based energy storage start-up Cheesecake Energy and London-based IoT cyber security platform Crypto Quantique.

The team completed 12 follow-on investments in 2022 to support the ongoing growth of the existing portfolio. Notable deals included autonomous vehicle leader Oxbotica, novel hydrogen fuel cell company Bramble Energy, agritech business Arborea and transformational liver transplantation business OrganOx.

Investments last year also reflect BGF’s ongoing commitment to empowering female led businesses, with biopharmaceutical company Elasmogen, led by Dr Caroline Barelle and chaired by Jane Dancer, functional genomics company Enhanc3D Genomics, led by Debora Lucarelli and fabless semiconductor company Cambridge GaN Devices led by Giorgia Longobardi.

BGF’s early stage portfolio is managed by Tim Rea, Dennis Atkinson and Ian Downing, with 2022 seeing further growth in BGF’s early-stage team with investor Marta Lozano joining Rowan Bird (climate & sustainability) and Lucy Edwardes Jones (life sciences). The team is based across London and Cambridge, with a remit spanning the UK and Ireland. 

Tim Rea, head of early stage at BGF, said: “The UK and Ireland is brimming with talent, and we are at the forefront of innovation in some of the most critically important sectors of our time – namely life sciences and climate tech. BGF remains committed to supporting the next generation of innovative businesses as they position themselves for rapid growth. In addition to the hard work of my colleagues in the early stage team over the past year, I’d also like to recognise the continued contribution of BGF’s life sciences and climate and sustainability advisory board members.”

Since inception in 2011, BGF has provided £3 billion to more than 500 companies across the UK and Ireland. In 2022, BGF delivered 45 new investments totalling £443 million across its early stage, growth and quoted teams. The firm also recorded a record exit volume and value: realising 40 investments, delivering over £675 million, and achieving a 2x MM and 22.5% IRR.

Andy Gregory, CEO of BGF, said: “In 2022 we saw a broad spectrum of earlier stage opportunities across our focus areas and it is promising to see the depth of progress that is being made in these burgeoning sectors. The early stage team continues to support companies where we see real scalability and opportunity for BGF to support both growth and value creation in these critically important markets.”