Most Active Venture Capital Firms in 2018 by Stage of Evolution

| Ava Scott

There are ambitious companies at all stages of evolution that are looking for growth capital. Private Equity and Venture Capital houses are most prolific type of fund providing equity in the UK, and so they meet much of this demand. It can be generally observed that Private Equity firms invest in more established, post-profit companies, while venture capital funds have riskier portfolios filled with younger companies. However, even further specialisation can be found across these equity investors. This blog looks at the most active private equity and venture capital funds in 2018, by the number of investments they made into companies at each stage of evolution; seed, venture, growth and established.

Top investor into UK seed-stage companies

Mercia Asset Management

Seed stage deals backed by Mercia
Mercia Asset Management

Mercia Asset Management invest in the UK’s ambitious technology companies, backing 298 equity fundraisings into high-growth companies since 2011. 63 of these were completed in 2018. Of these recent transactions, 18 (28.6%) were into Seed-stage companies.

Top investor into UK venture-stage companies

Parkwalk Advisors

Seed stage deals backed by Parkwalk
Parkwalk Advisors logo

Parkwalk Advisors are a ‘hard science’ investor, with a specialism in university spinouts. They manage dedicated funds supporting the enterprises that spring from Oxford, Cambridge and Bristol. They have backed 208 fundraisings since 2011, with 47 completed in 2018. Venture-stage companies secured 15 (31.9%) of these fundraisings.

Top investor into UK growth-stage companies

BGF (formerly Business Growth Fund)

Growth and Established deals backed by BGF
BGF Business Growth Fund logo

While BGF invest in businesses at all stages of development, in 2018 they seem to have focused significantly on supporting companies at later stages, with growth-stage and established-stage companies securing up 64.8% of BGF investments. Business Growth Fund has backed 224 high growth companies since 2011, and 54 of these were in 2018. 

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