Bristol scores the biggest venture capital investment of the year so far

Funding | Reports | South West
Bristol

Bristol has received the UK’s biggest venture capital investment so far in 2019, according to KPMG’s latest Venture Pulse Survey.

The injection, a significant £215.8m, went to Ovo Energy in exchange for a 20% minority stake to Mitsubishi Corporation.

Four other Bristol based companies also received funds in the first part of this year, with technology being a common theme amongst them.

Energy supplier Ovo’s funds will be used to accelerate the development of its intelligent energy technologies unit and to expand into new markets. The other cash injections went to 3 Radical, Immersive Labs, Open Bionics and YellowDog.

Kay Drury, a TMT Partner at KPMG Bristol commented: “It’s clear that technology is now at the front and centre of business strategy. It’s no longer just the remit of specific tech firms – it’s also those businesses that you wouldn’t necessarily associate with technology such as Ovo; they’re using it to find innovative ways to support their core business. It’s great to see Bristol at the centre of this shift.”

KPMG’s Venture Pulse survey also revealed a slowdown in the number of venture capital investments into the UK due to ongoing uncertainty around Brexit.

However UK-wide, investors were willing to pay a premium for innovative businesses. More than £1.9bn was invested in the UK in the first three months of 2019, similar to the amount invested this time last year.

Furthermore the quarterly survey revealed a global reduction in venture capital investments when of 13%, when compared to this point in 2018.

Tim Kay, Director of Innovative Startups at KPMG UK said: “Numerous economic uncertainties have caused some VC investors to pull back, at least in the short-term. The rapid approach of the Brexit deadline, a perceived economic slowdown in China, and heightening trade wars between the US and other regions all caused some concern to VC investors in the UK.”

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