The value of venture capital deals falls in Bristol at the start of 2022

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Bristol businesses secured £38m in venture capital (VC) investments in the first three months of 2022 amid an uncertain geopolitical and macroeconomic environment, new research shows.

Figures from KPMG’s Global Venture Pulse survey revealed that year-over-year deal volume remained the same, with 15 deals closed in the first quarter, but overall value fell from 75, £8m to £38m from a year earlier.

Among the significant investments was Rovco, a provider of underwater hydrographic services to the energy and marine renewable energy sectors. In April, it secured £15.2m in a Series B fundraising. The fundraiser was co-led by financial services giant Legal & General, which invested £8.5m pounds, alongside the venture capital arm of international energy company Equinor.

Another venture deal in the first quarter was cloud-based benefits software developer Cloud8, which raised £750,000 from Mercia.

Kay Drury, Transaction Services Partner at KPMG in Bristol, said: “Despite the uncertainty, Bristol’s fast-growing businesses are still attracting significant venture capital investment values, indicating the resilience and adaptability of businesses in our city”.

Ms Dury said fintech, B2B-focused services and health technologies would remain the “top areas” of investment in Bristol in 2022.

She added: “We are also seeing an increase in investment in companies providing solutions to support the march to net zero, such as those making developments in renewable energy, and we expect these sectors continue to play an important role in propelling growth in our region.”

Nationally, UK scale-ups saw 745 deals closed in Q1 2022, grossing over £6.9bn, including the $1bn mega-deal for Checkout.com, a platform cloud-based payment system.

The report found that a major confluence of factors has helped to continue to boost the UK venture capital market, including an increase in corporate-backed venture capital, private equity funds seeking better returns and an increase in fundraising focused on early-stage companies to achieve higher returns.

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