BGF posts strong 2019 annual results
BGF has reported strong investment and financial performance in its 2019 Annual Report and Accounts.
BGF surpassed the GBP2 billion investment milestone and surpassed 300 companies backed in total during the year. Against the backdrop of ongoing Brexit uncertainty, BGF continued to remain very active in 2019 investing more than GBP200 million in 45 new portfolio companies and providing a further GBP144 million in follow-on funding across 67 investee businesses.
BGF’s evergreen funding model, which sees it recycle proceeds and provide follow on capital to its portfolio, is now a well proven model to deliver patient capital at scale.
BGF also continued to extend its focus on earlier stage companies beyond London, leveraging its national footprint and providing much needed regional coverage. In just over a year, BGF has become the second most active investor in life sciences, making five new investments in the sector in 2019. Since 2011, BGF has invested GBP900 million across the UK Grand Challenges set out in the Government’s Industrial Strategy including Future of Mobility, Aging Society, Clean Growth, AI and Data Analysis.
In addition, BGF was the largest small cap investor in the UK in the sub GBP100m market cap sector. It is poised to grow significantly as one of the few major and active sources of funding dedicated to the micro-cap market. The growth of BGF’s quoted portfolio continues to contribute to BGF’s large and diversified portfolio overall.
Stephen Welton, CEO, BGF says: “2019 was a strong year for BGF in terms of investment activity, continued diversification of the portfolio, and financial performance. While the entrepreneurial community at large suffered as a result of Brexit uncertainty, BGF was able to demonstrate the robustness and uniqueness of its model – through a well-capitalised and permanent balance sheet able to withstand unfavourable market conditions.
“BGF has been a purpose-led business from the outset and was established to address a long-standing funding gap among small and mid-sized businesses. Following something of a rollercoaster year in 2019, the world finds itself in an unprecedented 2020. However, by leveraging the experience gleaned from the last nine years, together with our financial strength, our unique approach and our extensive network, BGF is well positioned to rise to these new challenges. For Britain to thrive post Covid-19 we have to invest to make that happen - because the future cannot be built on debt.”