VGC targets disruptive sectors as investment activity rebounds

Growth capital investor VGC Partners is targeting investments in disruptive future sectors including gaming, luxury e-commerce brands and voice tech, following the firm’s most active 12 months to date. 

The firm is now 50 per cent invested in its flagship GBP50 million fund, with deals completed with London-based luxury trainer re-seller Kick Game and a pair of transactions in the next generation food and beverage space. The investment in flavoured sparkling water Ugly Drinks was completed in November, with a deal for Sweden-based Sproud, which produces a pea-based milk alternative, completed last month.
 
In addition, the firm successfully exited SuperAwesome, the specialist in internet safety for children, as part of the transaction that saw Epic Games, the maker of Fortnite, acquire the business in September. 
 
To support innovation, VGC Partners has also fully invested its GBP1 million Technology Seed Fund IV, backing innovative voice-tech businesses in the UK. As part of the Fund, new investments will also gain access to Amazon’s ‘Alexa Incubator Programme’, offering technical and business mentorship to its portfolio. The firm has commitments for a similar pool of capital in 2021.
 
Alongside new investments, the firm has continued to see considerable success from its existing portfolio. Driven by a 150 per cent rise in online revenues in its last financial year, London-based WIT Fitness secured an additional GBP1.5 million in follow-on funding in June 2020, having launched new exclusive sneaker collections with Reebok and Nike, as well as continuing to develop its online presence. 
 
Kick Game, the London headquartered luxury sneaker resale business has also seen revenues jump 200 per cent on last year, with the business building out its technology platform and establishing physical retail pop ups in Mayfair and Covent Garden to drive growth.
 
Headed by Parminder Basran, VGC has continued to invest in its talent over the last year. The firm appointed Alex Read as Director, New Investments in May, with the remit of focusing on new investments from its flagship fund. Andrew Lister was also promoted to partner in July, following successful investments in both WIT Fitness and Kick Game in recent years. 
 
Parminder Basran, managing partner at VGC Partners, says: “In what was a transformational year for everyone, 2020 saw some of our most exciting activity. Investments have been made in disruptive future sectors like next gen food and beverage, as well as explosive growth areas like functional fitness and luxury e-commerce, whilst we also saw there an appetite for M&A within large, well capitalised trade buyers from the exit of SuperAwesome to Epic Games. 
 
“The latest seed fund has also provided us with access to some of the UK’s most innovative tech startups, and 2021 will be an exciting time for making further investments and working alongside Amazon to support growth in these early-stage businesses. With further growth and development of the VGC team planned for this year, we remain on the lookout for ambitious and innovative management teams to back, and are in an ideal position to expand our portfolio in the next 12 months.” 
 

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