Blog by Briony Phillips, Investment Activator
It’s November, the clocks have gone back, the pumpkins are turned into soup, and the South West has a new £200m fund thanks to Rishi’s recent budget announcement.
Yes, you heard me right, the South West will soon have a fund akin to that distributed by the Northern Powerhouse and the Midlands Engine. What it will look like, who will benefit, and how it will be managed all is still to be defined – but the funds are ring-fenced and conversations underway.
The Regional Angels Programme (RAP) also popped a bottle of celebratory champers when the budget was announced. This programme has seen commitments of a further £150million over three years.
The RAP is a co-investment fund, investing alongside angel syndicates into high potential businesses across all the UK’s regions and nations. I’m reliably informed that RAP has fully committed its original £100m allocation, with 85% of investments outside London.
And in other headline news, the Regional Angel Investment Accelerator (RAIA) pilot has been extended with an additional £2m. For the uninitiated, RAIA is a co-investment fund managed by SETsquared Partnership, amongst others.
The South West fund enables innovation-led businesses to simultaneously raise non-dilutable grant funding alongside Angel investment to undertake an R&D project. South West companies can find out more here.
And with that hat trick of excellent investment news, let’s focus on the update you’re really here for – who has successfully raised investment in the South West in October?
Fifteen companies have raised £227,492,053 between them, with £218m disclosed publicly – read on to find out who is celebrating this month.
Vertical Aerospace, a global aerospace and technology company specialising in zero-emissions aviation, has secured over $200 million in additional financing to support its path to scale production and certification of the VA-X4 electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft.
Bristol-based e-commerce fulfillment platform Huboo has raised £60 million in a Series B round. This healthy dose of dosh adds on to the £14 million the startup brought home last year in their Series A round. This newest round is expected to help the company push deeper into continental Europe.
Exeter automotive tech firm DeGould has received £6m from investors which will enable it to accelerate its growth. The company, based on the Sowton Industrial Estate, has completed its third round of funding to accelerate its supply of automated vehicle inspection systems, powered by AI.
Flexi-Hex, based in Porthleven, has secured a £500,000 CIOSIF equity investment as part of a £1.25million funding round which includes multiple angel investors. The deal was handled by The FSE Group, the appointed CIOSIF Fund Manager. The funding will be used to support the growth of the business, with a focus on international expansion and continuing to develop its pioneering product range, while creating a number of new jobs.
The femtech app, Jennis, founded by Olympic and World Heptathlon Champion Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill, has raised €1.17 million in pre-seed funding to improve hormonal health for all women and tackle the gender data gap in women’s health (only 6% of sport and exercise studies are done using exclusively female participants). The funding round was led by Maki.vc, supported by existing investors Venrex and several angel investors. Although the headline says it’s London based, the company is registered in Weston Super Mare.
Method Grid, a Bath-based provider of an enterprise-level connected assurance platform for regulated sectors, including engineering-construction and consultancy, raised a total of roughly £1m including new funding and conversion of loan into equity. Backers included a network of eleven private investors coordinated by Anthony Sage.
Bath-based Kelpi is a sustainable biotech startup that focuses on bio-refining seaweed to make bioplastic packaging that is home compostable and marine safe. The company just landed a £320K pre-seed funding, which £95K came from Innovate UK ‘Combined Investor Partnership’ grant landed through SETsquared’s highly successful Regional Angel Investment Accelerator (RAIA) programme and the rest was from Bristol Private Equity Club (BPEC) and other angel investors.
The remaining £8m that was secured was divided between eight companies located from Torquay to Trowbridge and Stroud to Poole.
This article is written as part of the Investment Activator Programme (IAP) in the West of England. This programme is run by TechSPARK and is kindly sponsored by Engine Shed, TLT LLP, delaware, West of England Combined Authority, UWE, Sanderson, and Rocketmakers.
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