British Patient Capital central to scale up Britain boosting company valuations, turnover, and employment by up to 5,000 jobs
British Patient Capital has helped create up to 5,000 additional jobs across the UK, driven company growth, and fueled innovation through its investments, finds an independent evaluation published today.
- Companies with investment from BPC-backed funds grew their employment by 55%, equivalent to c. 4,600-5,000 additional jobs, and demonstrated an increase in turnover of between £4.7m and £5.4m per year.
- The pre-money valuations of beneficiary companies were found on average to be £60m higher than they would have been in absence of the BPC-backed funding.
- BPC-backed firms are much more likely to be later stage growth companies than those backed by the wider equity market, and 11% of the firms receiving BPC-backed investment are academic spinouts.
- BPC-enabled funding has translated into increased innovation outcomes, including increased R&D investment, new product development and commercialisation.
In a year that marks the fifth anniversary of British Patient Capital (BPC), an independent evaluation of the programme has found that investments by BPC are a driving force for innovation behind scale up Britain. With fund investments of £1.3bn via 61 fund commitments and co-investments into four companies since launch, a survey of BPC’s underlying portfolio companies showed 25% said growth would not have been achieved without its finance and a further 50% said growth would have taken longer to achieve.
Established in 2018 in direct response to the UK Government’s Patient Capital Review (PCR), BPC has £2.5bn to invest over 10 years in venture and venture growth capital, unlocking billions in further private investment that high growth, innovative companies need to grow. Across its three programmes, British Patient Capital now manages assets with a total value of £3,075m. Total commitments, including capital from other institutional investors, now total more than £10.7bn.
The British Business Bank commissioned SQW to undertake an evaluation of BPC. This included assessing the extent to which the programme was meeting its objectives and providing a net benefit to the economy. The evaluation found BPC is making good progress against both its policy and commercial objectives.
By the end of March 2022, BPC had supported 61 funds investing in more than 1,000 companies. By enabling innovative companies across frontier science, disruptive technology and deep tech solutions to access finance more quickly and at a larger scale, BPC’s investment is having a wider economic impact: BPC-backed firms are likely to generate economic benefits of £5.1bn by 2030/31.
Catherine Lewis La Torre, CEO of British Patient Capital, said: “British Patient Capital’s mission is to enable long-term investment into innovative companies with the potential to build world-class businesses. We are delivering on that mission. The UK is a recognised hub for breakthrough research and development across a diversity of fields spanning deep tech to life sciences, but companies need patient capital to turn research into commercially-viable realities with the ambition to become significant players on the global stage.”
Supporting scale up Britain
The evaluation findings demonstrate the key contribution BPC is making to supporting scale up Britain by crowding in additional private capital to growing companies. A quarter (24%) of BPC-backed firms are identified as growth stage by Beauhurst, compared to 9% across all equity-backed companies. Furthermore, on average beneficiary companies grew their employment by 55%, equivalent to c. 4,600-5,000 additional jobs, demonstrated an increase in turnover between £4.7m and £5.4m per year and saw company valuations £60m higher on average compared to other equity funded businesses.
BPC-backed investment has also been successful in ensuring that innovative companies have access to finance faster, and at a larger scale, than would otherwise have been the case: two thirds of surveyed respondents said company-level growth would have not occurred or taken longer to achieve, been smaller in scale or of lower quality, and 83% went on to commercialise new products, processes and practices. 92% of surveyed BPC-backed firms are also using the equity investment to fund R&D, and BPC-backed firms are using a greater proportion of the equity investment to fund R&D than other equity backed firms.
With an ambition to help cement the UK’s position as a global science superpower, turning cutting-edge research into real-world products, 11% of BPC-backed companies are academic spinouts compared to just 2% of all equity-backed companies. Just over half (52%) of the firms are also in the technology sector, including Artificial Intelligence and Fintech, supporting them to become the next unicorns and create an ecosystem to rival Silicon Valley. Four technology companies in the BPC portfolio achieved Unicorn status in 2021/22: Thought Machine, GoCardless, Lendable and Wayve.
Sir Damon Buffini, Chair of the 2017 Patient Capital Review, said: “The UK’s vibrant start up culture is one of our greatest assets, but the 2017 Patient Capital Review showed that high potential businesses face substantial challenges in accessing the long-term, patient finance they need to scale up. When we recommended the creation of British Patient Capital, we envisaged an independent body with the scale and longevity to address these barriers.
“In the five years since it was established, it is truly heartening to see that British Patient Capital has made great strides in delivering its mission. By catalysing billions of pounds of private sector investment, it is helping to ensure the UK’s most exciting businesses can grow, innovate, and develop into world-leading companies.”
Kate Bingham, Managing Partner, SV Health Investors, said: “British Patient Capital’s investment in SV’s funds has been material in enabling us to create and build innovative UK life sciences companies developing potentially life changing therapies based on cutting edge science. BPC’s willingness to invest in our funds as cornerstone investors has helped us secure further investment, thereby increasing our potential impact on patients’ lives as well as the UK economy through the creation of highly skilled R&D jobs.”
Anne Glover Chief Executive and Co-founder, Amadeus Capital, said: “The launch of BPC in 2018 was a welcome response to a long-term challenge for the UK tech sector. It has been a crucial cornerstone investor for Amadeus in the past 5 years and contributed to our firm’s consistent backing of some of the UK’s leading deep tech disruptors. BPC is continuing to play a strong leadership role in backing both new and existing managers and the industry looks forward to seeing how it can grow in scale over the coming years. Most pressingly, it needs to be complemented by private institutional capital, including both insurers and pension funds, so that our talented scientific and entrepreneurial communities can deliver the economic growth which the country and the Government so desperately require.”
Nadine Hachach-Haram, CEO and Founder of Proximie, said: “At Proximie, we are very grateful to have had investor support from British Patient Capital during our growth journey which has seen Proximie expand outside of the UK into other markets, including the US. We possess many of the characteristics identified by this evaluation: an innovative UK company, developing new products at a commercial level, growing headcount, increasing turnover, and a rising valuation. Our success has clearly been reflected across BPC’s wider portfolio of investments, and we look forward to a continued, mutually beneficial relationship.”
Michael Moore, Director General, BVCA, said: “British Patient Capital plays a vital part in the UK start up ecosystem. This evaluation shows how investments from BPC enable research, innovation and insight to be developed and commercialised, creating jobs and building businesses. The UK has many promising ideas and businesses, and programs such as BPC provide the stability to help get ideas off the ground, particularly for technologies which take longer to nurture and develop.”
Irene Graham OBE, CEO, ScaleUp Institute, said: “These findings mirror our own in highlighting the crucial role that development banks play in underpinning economic growth opportunities. British Patient Capital has proven to be a key pillar in the UK scaleup investment landscape, working with the private sector, to address elements of the patient capital gap. We know that scaling businesses are highly innovative, and investing substantially in R&D, which this report further emphasises. It is crucial we build on BPC’s success for the long term, alongside continuing broader initiatives underway to bolster the continuum of scaleup capital so necessary to fuel further UK scaleup growth and innovation globally.”
Companies backed by BPC include:
Paragraf: Paragraf develops and delivers game-changing, commercial quality, graphene-based electronic devices. Since graphene was first isolated, it has been hailed as a ‘wonder material’ because of its unique properties. Paragraf is the first company worldwide to deliver a scalable approach to graphene electronic device manufacturing. Paragraf’s primary products are used in a vast array of industries across the world of tech, from aerospace to healthcare to industrial and quantum computing spaces. The company, which was formed as a spinout from the Department of Materials Science at Cambridge University in 2017, was first backed by BPC-backed fund Molten Ventures at Series A in 2019. British Patient Capital has since invested directly at Series B in 2022.
Paddle: Paddle is an all-in-one payment infrastructure solution for software as a service (‘SaaS’) businesses. Covering payments, billing, and sales tax compliance, Paddle brings together the many complicated parts of providing a billing and payments service, enabling software sellers to scale quickly. Since 2016, BPC-backed funds Kindred Capital and Notion Capital have both participated in multiple funding rounds, including the most recent Series D round in 2022 where Paddle achieved unicorn status. Paddle has more than doubled its revenue growth since November 2020, with an average annual revenue growth of over 175% over the last four years. Its team has grown from 140 to 275 across offices in London and New York.
AutoRek: Headquartered in Glasgow, with offices in Edinburgh, London and New York, AutoRek is a leading software provider to the global financial services sector. Its clients span the asset management, banking and insurance sectors and include commercial banks, payment platforms, fintech start-ups and established life and pensions companies. AutoRek’s software platform allows firms to automate and streamline the collection, validation and reconciliation of data. The firm has over 85 employees. BPC-backed fund Scottish Equity Partners made a significant growth equity investment in AutoRek in 2021.
Methodology: A total of 38 (of the 52 at the time) BPC-backed funds were in scope for the evaluation. These were managed by 22 Fund Managers who had invested in 389 UK-based companies at the time of analysis. This included 24 funds backed by BPC between 2018 and early 2021, and 14 funds from the VC Catalyst. The latter was subsumed into BPC in 2018.
The focus of the evaluation was on BPC since its establishment. However, VC Catalyst supported funds were considered as part of the assessment where appropriate. The evaluation excluded funds designated as “Lower Mid-Market” as they have a different investment strategy to the core BPC programme and also funds invested through the Life Sciences Investment Programme (LSIP).
Investments undertaken through the Future Fund: Breakthrough programme were also excluded. The evaluation did not cover BPC investments from mid-2021 onwards because it was too early to assess impact.
 Gross Value Added (GVA) generated by BPC beneficiaries in scope between 2013/14 FY and 2030/31FY.