SFC Capital invests GBP25m in 120 companies over the past year
To support ambitious early-stage entrepreneurs developing technologies with the potential to shape the future economy, SFC Capital, the UK’s leading SEIS investor and most active seed-stage investor, has invested GBP25 million in 120 companies (April 2020 — April 2021).
In Q1 of 2021, SFC Capital raised its largest SEIS fund to date, with GBP5 million deployed in 40 companies in just two months. The funds have been raised from private investors (SEIS and EIS funds), family offices, the SFC Angel Network and a GBP10 million commitment from the British Business Bank in April 2020 as part of its Regional Angels Programme.
SFC Capital’s investment focus for the past year has been on innovation aimed at addressing the lasting economic and social changes triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic - in particular AI, healthtech, fintech, AR/VR, IoT, and B2B SaaS, all areas in which SFC Capital expects to see innovation accelerated and diversified. In addition, and continuing its long-standing commitment to investing outside the M25 - investments include Transcend Packaging (Caerphilly), Condense Reality (Bristol), Novai (Reading) and 4D Biomaterials (Nottingham) - SFC Capital made over two-thirds of its investments in 2020/21 into startups in the regions.
Stephen Page, founder and CEO of SFC Capital, says: “We have seen a great number of promising early-stage companies that have been looking for investment throughout the pandemic - especially those at the SEIS level that were not eligible for support via the Government’s Future Fund. We’re excited to have been able to back a really significant number of companies during such a difficult year, we are delighted that we are going to back more startups with game-changing potential in the ‘new normal’ — and quickly.
“While our focus is on areas that will be to the fore in the post-pandemic economy, our perspective is long-term — we’re looking for companies with the potential to become world-leaders in their field over the next five to seven years. It’s great that our investors see the potential in the early-stage game-changing businesses we are backing, as well as recognising the benefits of our market-leading SEIS funds.”
Angelika Burawska, Chief Operating Officer, says: “For years SFC Capital has believed in the quality of innovation going on all around the UK, not just in London as the epicentre of the investment ecosystem — and we have the receipts in the shape of a geographically diverse portfolio spanning the length and breadth of the country. The past year has reiterated that innovative work can be done from more or less anywhere, which will hopefully support long-term growth of regional ‘hotspots’ in all sectors.
“Beyond this, we recognise the woeful statistics for investment in female-founded startups, which is why we set a target of 50 per cent of investee companies through 2020/21 being female-founded. To date, SFC Capital has invested in some brilliant companies, including Mevitae, Hunter & Gather and Jack & Bry. We want to be seen to take action, and we’re well on our way, achieving 40 per cent invested in female-founded businesses so far. We are confident that we are at the forefront of much needed change in the industry, with a strong pipeline for the year to come.”