British Patient Capital targets life sciences and fintech as key investments

Government’s venture capital arm backs 12 funds with £334m of investment in its first year, bringing total commitments to £600m

British Patient Capital, the venture capital arm of state-owned British Business Bank, is targeting life sciences and fintech as ripe sectors for investment going forward.

In its first year, BPC, which backs venture capital funds focused on growth businesses, made 12 investments totalling £334m. Underlying businesses its funds have invested in include:

These, combined with a seed portfolio acquired at launch, takes its portfolio to 31 fund investments of £600m in 322 underlying businesses.

>See also: British Business Bank puts €100m into European VC fund of funds

So far, the biggest areas of investment across BPC’s portfolio of underlying companies have been AI and big data (25pc), digitisation (18pc), life sciences and digital health (15pc) and the future of finance (13pc).

Catherine Lewis La Torre, chief executive of BPC, said the fund is preparing to write some “big cheques” to help support the British tech industry, which faces a funding squeeze as EU funding is set to disappear post Brexit.

>See also: Keith Morgan of British Business Bank – ‘Our fundamentals are strong’

The VC investment arm of the British Business Bank aims to provide so-called “patient capital”, the long-term finance needed by companies after their start-up phase when they want to scale up.

This sort of scale-up funding is seen as the missing piece of the jigsaw by some investors, with funds mostly focused on the initial start-up period. The concern is that founders have no alternative but to let themselves be bought out by larger, often US rivals, if they want to grow.

Catherine Lewis La Torre, CEO, British Patient Capital, said: “This activity establishes British Patient Capital as the largest domestic investor in venture and venture growth capital in the UK.

Keith Morgan, chairman of BPC and chief executive of its parent British Business Bank, said: “With £2.5bn of funds to invest into venture and venture growth capital funds over the next decade, British Patient Capital is working alongside institutional investors with the aim of attracting a further £5bn of patient capital investment, unlocking £7.5bn of finance.”

Further reading

What is the British Business Bank? – a Growth Business guide