Funder provides £41m of support for North West firms over six months

Neil Inskip
X The Business Desk

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Capital investor BGF has invested £41m in the North West in the first half of 2021, which it says cements its commitment to the region.

BGF has provided growth capital for seven businesses with £20m of the total invested supporting new investments and £21m of positive follow-on funding for existing portfolio companies based across the region.

Investments include £7.5m in Lancashire e-commerce logistics and tech company FulfilmentCrowd, backing double Queen’s award-winner DriveWorks, the fast-growing technology business, and investing in national courier company Speedy Freight following its year of record growth.

BGF has also provided follow-on funding to portfolio businesses, including a £4m investment in fast growth, lead generation technology business, ROI. The deal came just seven months after BGF’s initial investment to support an acquisition and international expansion.

Earlier this month, BGF made a £2.1m investment in digital mapping company, Gaist, taking the total invested to £4.8m.

Neil Inskip, head of BGF in the North West, said: “The appetite for growth capital in the North West remains strong, as businesses look to take advantage of the opportunities that have developed over the last 18 months.

“It’s clear that owner-managed businesses have had to re-set their ambitions in the face of a global pandemic and for many this means scaling up and going for growth.”

BGF’s North West portfolio has been extremely active in the first half of 2021.

As well as ROI’s acquisitions in Norway and Denmark, Kids Planet has announced the acquisition of nursery groups Poppy & Jack’s and Learning Curve. The nursery group has grown from 17 to 75 settings since BGF’s initial investment.

Inskip added: “The strong start we have made to 2021 is a result of our ongoing commitment to investing in a broad range of sectors across the region, including technology, logistics and life sciences.

“Regardless of sector, what each of the businesses we back have in common is a strong and ambitious management team.

“The combination of new investments in exciting and innovative businesses, together with supporting the aims and ambitions of our portfolio, demonstrates the strength and depth of the BGF investment model.”

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