From our partners IW Capital
Statistics released last week revealed that Britain is currently creating more $1 billion technology companies, known as Unicorns, than any other country apart from the United States and China.
In the last 20 years UK-based entrepreneurs have built 72 companies, including 13 in the past year, that have exceeded a valuation of $1billion. This is compared with 29 in Germany, Britain’s closest European rival, and India with 26. In that time, the US and China have created 703 and 206 respectively, according to research for the government’s digital economy council published last week.
One of these Unicorns, BrewDog, utilised EIS funding through crowdfunding at the early stage of growth. This undoubtedly helped the start-up to get off the ground and reach over its £1billion valuation.
Part of the reason behind this growth and the success of such companies is the availability of investment, both at start-up and scale-up level. Since 2008 there has been an undoubted reticence by banks to lend to small businesses and start-ups, and especially those that are technology based and not asset-backed. This has meant that alternative finance routes have become more and more important for tech-based businesses looking to grow and scale.
2017/18 saw more applications for the Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) than ever before, showing the huge demand for investment that SMEs and start-ups currently have in order to grow, scale and eventually reach the valuations seen in achieving unicorn status.
EIS is designed for high-risk, high-growth start-ups and small business that go on to innovate and disrupt industries across the tech sector. It is no surprise that the 72 unicorns founded in the last two decades has coincided with the 25 years that the EIS has been in use existence. While not all of them will have used the scheme directly, the rise of alternative finance has benefited this community enormously.
IW Capital are looking for non-executive directors who are interested in investment opportunities; to consider on a deal-by-deal basis new portfolio companies who are looking for investment. They cater for both capital growth and more secure income-generating investment opportunities.
Moreover, IW Capital allow investors to specifically handpick individual companies through the portfolio model approach and become involved if appropriate. They are looking for experienced investors who will assist their SME's in growing and transforming into successful, profitable companies. If you are interested in finding out more about these opportunities, please get in contact with IW Capital to see how we can help you.