Businesses in Bristol secured £38m in venture capital (VC) investment in the first three months of 2022 amid an uncertain geopolitical and macroeconomic environment, new research finds.
Figures from KPMG’s Global Venture Pulse Survey found that year-on-year deal volume remained the same, with 15 deals completed during the first quarter, but the aggregate value fell from £75.8m to £38m compared to the year previously.
Among the significant investments was Rovco, a provider of hydrographic subsea services to the marine renewable and energy sectors. In April, it secured £15.2m in a Series B fundraising round. The fundraise was co-led by financial services giant Legal & General, which invested £8.5m, alongside the venture capital arm of international energy company Equinor.
Another VC deal in the first quarter was Cloud8, a developer of cloud-based employee benefits software, which raised £750,000 from Mercia.
Kay Drury, transaction services partner at KPMG in Bristol, said: “Despite uncertainty, fast-growth businesses in Bristol still attract significant values of venture capital investment, indicating the resilience and adaptability of firms in our city.”
Ms Dury said fintech, B2B-focused services and healthtech would remain “top areas” for investment in Bristol in 2022.
She added: “We’re also seeing a rise in investments in companies bringing solutions to support the drive towards net zero, such as those making developments within renewable energy, and we expect these sectors will continue to play a big role in propelling growth in our region.”
Nationally, UK scale-ups saw 745 deals completed in the first quarter of 2022, raising over £6.9bn, including the $1bn megadeal for Checkout.com, a cloud-based payments platform.
The report found that a major convergence of factors has helped to continue to energise the UK’s VC market, including a rise in corporate-backed VC, private equity funds looking for better returns, and increasing fundraising focused on earlier-stage companies in order to achieve higher returns.
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