BGF, a UK-based investor in growing businesses, today announced that it has committed £2bn into UK and Irish SMEs from its balance sheet, £134m of which has been invested into South West SMEs.
The landmark capital investment was reached following £7.5m of growth funding for Merseyside-based manufacturer Joloda International, as well as BGF’s most active day ever for capital deployment in mid-June, with a total of £48m committed.
BGF has backed 19 businesses based in the South West, with many companies receiving follow-on funding to support further growth. Recent investments include Exeter-based in-car technology business Lightfoot, Cornish women’s clothing and lifestyle brand Seasalt and Gloucester-based legal adviser Equilaw.
From scratch, BGF has now backed 285 companies across the UK and Ireland since it was set up in 2011, providing growth funding in every region and almost every sector of the economy, with over 70% committed to businesses based outside of London and the South East.
The investor has also recently made several successful exits including Southampton-based employee benefit solutions business and BGF’s first investment Benefex and Cirencester-based IT-managed services company APSU. The proceeds of these exits are recycled back to BGF’s £2.5bn balance sheet as an intrinsic part of its evergreen funding model.
Ned Dorbin, an investor at BGF and head of its Bristol office, said: “BGF was set up in 2011 with a clear mission – we wanted to establish a different investment model that was regionally-focused, supporting ambition and promise over a long-term horizon. Our Bristol office was one of the first to be set up because we saw so much potential among businesses here in the South West.
“Fast forward just eight years and we have backed some of the region’s most exciting companies. Even in challenging market conditions, businesses in the South West have continued to create jobs and look for growth opportunities. We’re excited to see more entrepreneurs use our funding to scale up their business, driving economic activity, employment, exports and growth.”