Businesses backed by Enterprise Ventures raised over £86m on AIM in 2015, new figures show.
The firm now has eight listed companies in its portfolio following the flotation of two Liverpool-based biotech businesses during the year – Redx Pharma which raised £15m in March and Evgen Pharma which raised £7m in October.
Six more portfolio companies raised over £64m between them through AIM share placings in 2015. They include Xeros Technology Group, the Yorkshire business which has developed an environment-friendly laundry technology and which raised £40m in November. Xeros was also voted Best New Listed Company at the European Small and Mid-Cap Awards.
Jonathan Diggines, Chief Executive of Enterprise Ventures, said: “Over the past decade we have supported some of the UK’s most exciting technology businesses – mainly in the North of England. We backed them right from the start, often when they were just an idea – the toughest time to attract funding. Having helped to lay the foundations, the resurgence of the public markets is now enabling us to attract new capital, to build scale and to bring new technologies to market.”
During the year Enterprise Ventures also achieved a number of successful exits, including TransGlobal Payment Solutions, which provides online foreign exchange services and was acquired by the outsourcing giant Equiniti; London-based IMC, which provides international development services to international client projects, for sovereign governments and aid agencies, which was sold to its management team.
Enterprise Ventures, which has a current portfolio of 375 companies, mainly in the North of England, has invested more than £110 million in the last five years. Jonathan Diggines said it was this type of investment which would help to realise the vision of a Northern Powerhouse, and that it was time for firms in the region to look to the future.
“After years of uncertainty, when many firms have had their plans on hold, the outlook is now much more positive. We will no doubt still experience the unexpected – and we will surely face interest rate increases in the short to medium term – but at last it is time for small businesses to invest and move on.”