Companies raised £10.7bn over 1,296 deals in H1 2021, marking a 121 per and 24 per cent increase respectively since H1 2020.
Figures in Beauhurst’s latest equity investment market report show that there were a record 218 first-time rounds in Q1 2021, up 50 per cent from the previous quarter. Even though Q2 couldn’t sustain this level of activity at 166 deals, H1 still saw more first-time raises than any half since H1 2014.
Not only that, but it appears that figures are rising at every stage. H1 was a record half for seed (501), venture (573) and established-stage deals (74). Against H2 2020, these represent rises of 18 per cent, four per cent and 57 per cent respectively. The value of investments also rose by 35 per cent for seed funding (to £697m), 43 per cent at venture (to £2.71bn) and 77 per cent at established stage (to £1.77bn).
Of the deals, 50 were megadeals, valued at over £50m. This represents 4.2 per cent of all announced equity investments, a 25 per cent increase on the whole of 2020. A significant 26 of these were gigadeals worth more than £100m.
All of the megadeals were secured by businesses headquartered in England, with 70 per cent (35) secured by London-based businesses. Across all stages, the median deal size increased from £716,000, in H2 2020, to £1m in H1 2021.
The largest of the gigadeals was Cambridge-based CMR Surgical at £432m. Other names on the list include Starling Bank (£272m), SaltPay (£358m) and Checkout.com (£333m).
Crowdfunding reaches new high
The total number of deals facilitated through crowdfunding platforms has now reached over 3,000 since 2011, with just over ten per cent of those completed in H1 2021. The amount raised by crowdfunding has also reached a new high of £176m, 61 per cent (£107m) of which was raised through Crowdcube across 138 funding rounds, while rival Seedrs facilitated £56.6m of investment across 143 rounds. Firms funded through crowdfunding in H1 2021 include fintech aggregator Curve (39.63m via Crowdcube), journey planning app, Citymapper (£6.02m) and gold banking app, Glint (£3.09m via Seedrs).
“We had immense faith that the UK’s high-growth ecosystem had the strength to come out the other side of the pandemic stronger than ever,” the report said. “But we did not foresee that this recovery would come so quick and bounce back so high.
“Whilst fintech takes a growing portion of investment, other sectors are also flourishing. We look forward to seeing which can sustain this growth and become a mainstay of the post-pandemic landscape.”