It is encouraging to see that a record high of over £6.5bn was invested by venture capital firms in UK scaleups over the summer, taking the total amount to £20bn so far this year.
The UK has around 34,000 scaleups (businesses growing by more than 20% per annum by employee growth, turnover growth or both) and these make up a critical portion of UK SMEs.
The ScaleUp Institute's 2020 Review highlighted that scaleups are the most innovative and international of our SMEs, generating a total turnover of £1 trillion (50% of the total contribution by all UK SMEs) and are 54% more productive than their peers. However, access to finance has consistently been one of the top challenges to scaling, despite appropriate finance and growth capital being central elements within the scaling journey.
Scaleups of all forms have made use of the various Covid-19 financial support packages, which allowed the businesses to keep operating and, importantly, to keep growing. But it's good to see lots of scaleups now looking beyond the pandemic, and turning their attention to equity finance. Angels and VCs are hugely important asset classes in "the escalator of finance to enabling scaleup success".
Nearly £20bn of VC investment has been raised so far this year by scaleups in the UK. While fintech was the hottest area of investment in the UK, a diversity of other companies also attracted fresh funding.