2019 has been a busy year for us here at Beauhurst. We’ve published a grand total of 98 blog posts over the last 12 months, with an additional 15 research reports distributed via our newsletter.
On the Beauhurst platform, our data team have added 6,724 newly tracked companies and collected data on 16,400 funding rounds. Our development team have also made continual updates to the platform, from minor bug fixes and mobile improvements to major interface changes and new features. These have facilitated our subscribers to research and better understand the UK’s high-growth landscape. Together, the profile pages of companies featured on the Beauhurst platform have garnered a massive 1.93m views.
Across the company, we’ve made 16 new permanent hires and had the pleasure of employing 11 interns over the year. As a side note, the team is still expanding – checkout our vacancies.
To celebrate these achievements, we’ve picked the headline publications, milestones and new features from each month of the year, with a bonus one from December!
Newly tracked companies
funding rounds identified
views of high-growth company profiles on the Beauhurst platform
Our first report of the year analysed the strength of the UK’s accelerator network and the companies that have been through them to identify trends and future movements in the ecosystem. We found that the number of accelerator attendances has increased by an average of 78% each year since 2014, and that companies that attend accelerators raise 44% more money than those that don’t. They are also 75% more valuable.
Our annual flagship report examines equity investment into the UK’s private companies. It was always going to be difficult for 2018 to match the unprecedented levels of 2017 – but it did come close. £7 billion was invested in 2018 – more than any year before 2017 and more than 2011 to 2013 combined. Nearly 1,600 investments were made in 2018, noticeably fewer than in 2017 but around the same as the number made in 2015 and 2016.
The Beauhurst platform got a shiny new feature update. The Explore feature allows subscribers to understand sections of the high-growth market at a glance, without very defined parameters. Browse through stats and graphs grouped by topics like fundraisings, grants and people. You can break down the companies you’re looking at by sector, buzzwords, location and stage of evolution.
One of our most popular blog posts of 2019, we took a look at eight companies that once exhibited massive potential and managed to raise significant levels of fundraising before they fell from grace, ending up in the cemetery of startups. Causes of death vary, from ‘lack of private-sector backing’ and failing to turn a profit to ruinous legal suits and claims of investor malpractice.
Since 2011, it’s been our mission at Beauhurst to track every high-growth and ambitious company in the UK, and the organisations that help them grow. Back in May, our data team hit a fantastic milestone in this journey with 30,000 tracked companies on the platform. On average, there are 450 data points on each of these profiles, which help our subscribers to better understand these companies and the lay of the high-growth land.
Our development team launched an exciting addition to our Networks feature, allowing subscribers to build lists of interesting individuals operating within the high-growth space. For example, monitor shareholders in FinTech companies where their shareholdings are worth more than £5m. Receive email alerts when a new shareholder reaches this £5m+ valuation threshold and use these as a prompt to reach out.
After years of seeing a steady rise in the number of investment deals completed in the UK, we started to see a drop in the number of deals during 2018. Worryingly, most of that drop happened at the seed stage. On Thursday 11th July we put on a panel and networking event to discuss this drop in seed stage deals and its potential effects. ‘Seeds of Doubt’ was organised with the help of NatWest, and hosted in their Entrepreneur Accelerator office in Angel.
In August we started collecting data on companies that have shown 10% growth in employee count or turnover per annum averaged over a three year period, in addition to those companies that have shown 20% growth. This has expanded our coverage of the UK’s most ambitious companies, with over 7,714 companies having met this trigger to date.
The UK’s billion dollar businesses are changing the face of British business. We took a deep dive into profiling the UK’s current unicorn herd, examining their growth journeys and identifying key trends between them. We also investigated the companies that we suspect are ‘invisible’ unicorns, and those up-and-coming startups that we can reasonably anticipate will surpass a $1b valuation in the near future.
One of our most technical explanations yet, this post presents an overview of blockchain and outlines how the Bitcoin blockchain operates. We also profiled six companies that are set to disrupt three different industries: banking, legal and conveyancing. Whether you’re an expert in the field or completely new to blockchain, everyone can learn something new from this article!
In collaboration with the Scaleup Institute, we published our third annual edition of The Scaleup Index in November. The report shows that the number of visible scaleups in the UK has increased by over 1,000, nearly double the rate of increase seen between 2017 and 2018. These businesses secured a combined £1.3b worth of equity investment throughout 2018.
Our final report of the year explored gender diversity across the UK’s high-growth economy. In partnership with our friends at Newable, we highlighted key trends amongst, and disparities between, all-female, mixed-gender and all-male founding teams. The results were both shocking and tentatively encouraging. 25% of high-growth companies in the UK have a female founder, but these companies have secured just 21% of deals and 9% of pounds invested in 2019.
Fintech is the buzzword that has dominated conversations in the high-growth space this year, and investors have shown that they’re more than willing to put their money where their mouths are; £2.9b has been invested into fintech companies over the past year. We ranked the top fintechs in the UK by amount of equity secured.