BGF, the UK and Ireland’s most active investor, is planning to invest £300 million in early-stage and fast growth businesses across the Central and Eastern areas of England over the next five years.
The BGF Growth Central and East team includes three experienced investors Mark Nunny, Nathan Heath and Elena Kovalikhina, and will be targeting investments in ambitious scaleups throughout Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire, Northamptonshire and across East Anglia.
The trio are based in Cambridge alongside BGF’s early-stage team which focuses on deep technology investments in fields such as life sciences and clean technology, with a remit spanning the UK and Ireland.
BGF is a long-term patient investor, making initial investments between £1 million to £20 million for a minority equity stake, partnering with founders and management teams to help them realise their growth strategies. It covers a diverse range of sectors and companies at different growth stages from early-stage through to maturity.
Mark Nunny, who leads the BGF Central and East growth team said: “The central and eastern regions of England have a broad array of established and growing entrepreneurial businesses. We’re delighted to be joining our early-stage colleagues in BGF’s Cambridge office, bringing us even closer to companies across the region who are on the scale-up path.
“Cambridge has become a hub of activity for BGF in both the growth and early-stage markets. As the UK’s most active growth capital investor, we are unique in our approach as a provider of long-term capital and minority partnerships. This enables businesses to seek the funding they need to scale while also remaining in control. Since 2011, BGF has already invested close to £240 million in the region and we’re looking to significantly boost this figure in the months and years to come.”
BGF growth stage investments in the region include: Medigold Health, a leading provider of occupational health and corporate wellbeing services based in Northampton; Just Digital, a provider of end-to-end graphic design and printing services for mass-customised markets based in Huntingdon; and bf1systems, a market-leading provider of electronic and electrical solutions for the motorsport and automotive industries, headquartered in Norfolk.
The region has also seen strong exit momentum. Most recently, BGF completed a successful exit of Cornwall Insight, a leading provider of research, data and analysis to the energy sector based in Norwich.
BGF’s commitment to the Central and Eastern areas of England comes off the back of a strong year for BGF, which saw the growth capital investor complete 45 new investments across the UK and Ireland totalling £443 million. 2022 was also a record year for exit volume and value with BGF realising 40 investments, delivering over £675 million, and achieving a 2x MM and 22.5% IRR. Since inception in 2011, BGF has invested over £3 billion in more than 500 companies.
Mark added: “BGF was set up to back brilliant businesses, and we will continue to provide investment throughout the economic cycle. The businesses in our portfolio are passionate and confident about their ability to do things better and continue to develop. There is also recognition that a well-funded, experienced investment partner can accelerate growth and our numerous exit success stories are testament to this. The Central and Eastern regions of England aren’t short of entrepreneurial flair, and we look forward to partnering with even more of these promising and diverse businesses in the months ahead.”