British Patient Capital invested £1.6bn into start-ups in 2021/22

Over the year, it made 61 fund commitments, four co-investments and five Future Fund: Breakthrough deals

British Patient Capital backed UK businesses with £1.6bn over the last financial year, according to its latest accounts report.

The investor, a subsidiary of British Business Bank and the largest domestic investor in the UK venture capital market, announced its full year results for the period ending 31 March 2022.

Over that time, it made 61 fund commitments, four co-investments and five Future Fund: Breakthrough deals.  

Future Fund: Breakthrough is a £375m programme that invests in R&D-intensive companies. British Patient Capital also launched the £200m Life Sciences Investment Programme for UK life sciences companies. 

The investments mean there are now 1,008 companies in its underlying fund portfolio, an increase of 332 on the previous year’s figure, with assets under management totalling £3bn.

Four companies from the portfolio achieved unicorn status over the reporting period – Thought Machine, GoCardless, Lendable and Wayve

However, valuations in its portfolio have started to fall, reflecting the slowdown in the tech sector. Start-up and scale-up founders are also finding it harder to raise funding.  

>See also: Amount raised by start-ups drops 57% year-on-year 

Catherine Lewis La Torre, incoming CEO of British Patient Capital, is not unduly worried by the drop in valuations, however. “There is substantial dry powder within the British Patient Capital programme which will be available to support scale-up companies over the coming years,” she said.  

“We continue to believe strongly in the potential for value creation in our portfolio over its lifetime, and more broadly in the ability of the venture capital ecosystem as a driver of sustainable growth for the UK.” 

Russ Cummings, chair of British Patient Capital, added: “While the industry will not be immune to the increasing macro-economic uncertainty, the fundamental potential of the UK innovation economy remains strong.  

“Importantly, as a patient capital investor that invests independently of market cycles, we take a long-term view. As such, we remain focused on funding the innovative companies of today, so they can become the success stories of tomorrow.” 

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Dom Walbanke

Dom Walbanke

Dom is a feature writer for Growth Business and Small Business, focused on matters concerning start-ups and scale-ups. He has also been published in the Independent, FourFourTwo magazine and various lifestyle...

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