UK’s innovation economy

The British Venture Capital Association has recently published “Britain’s Hot Talent”, in which a selection of 100 of the UK’s most dynamic and cutting-edge young companies are showcased. Taylor Vinters’ lawyers have acted on investment deals involving more than 25 per cent of these companies in recent years. We have great links with the institutional investment community and derive great satisfaction in helping forge links between entrepreneurs and well-matched potential investors.

Last year Taylor Vinters acted – either for investors or companies – on more than 100 funding deals involving high growth companies. Last year around £125,000,000 was raised overall.

We are at the heart of the fundraising ecosystem for IP rich sectors including technology, digital media and healthcare. Investor-wise, we have added to our roster of institutional venture capital and private equity investor clients, while continuing to work with angel investors who are reaping the benefits of the SEIS and EIS tax schemes. On the company side, we have been the chosen advisors for many exciting new companies, while continuing to provide a value added service to our more established client base.

In 2012, the average amount invested at the VC investment stage was £796,000. Our mean investment deal size was £1.25m. Our take on this is that not only are we working with some of the most sought after companies, but also that we are working with some of the most exciting growth companies in Cambridge, who tend to need more money to bring through their innovations.

The geographical split of our investment deals is approximately 40 per cent Cambridge, 40 per cent London and 20 per cent other, reflecting the hot spots for investor interest in the UK at present. 

Beyond the Cambridge-Tech City pivot, we find ourselves with excellent proximity to the new Norwich-Cambridge Agri-Tech Cluster which was launched in 2013, with the aim of helping to unlock millions of pounds and revolutionise agriculture, to the international ICT cluster centred on Adastral Park at Martlesham and the growing bond between Singapore and London in respect of fintech deals, to give just three great examples.

Singapore synergy

Despite the fact that Singapore is more than 6,000 miles away from the UK, not only have we assisted numerous UK companies expand into Asian markets, but we are increasingly assisting Asian companies and investors with European opportunities. Our network of contacts and clients in Singapore are increasingly recognising the value of this axis of innovation. Indeed, the Cambridge Connection trade visits proved to be a tremendous success!

Part of the way forward

David Willetts MP, the Minister for Universities and Science, wrote a white paper in 2013 entitled “Eight great technologies”. This paper, released via the think tank Policy Exchange, set out a vision for long-term science policy in the UK. It called for a new policy focus on science and technology based growth and sets out eight great technologies where the UK has an opportunity to take its great scientific research and applying it can do exactly that. The areas in question are:

  • The big data revolution and energy-efficient;
  • Computing;
  • Satellites and commercial applications of space;
  • Robotics and autonomous systems;
  • Life sciences, genomics and synthetic biology;
  • Regenerative medicine;
  • Agri-science;
  • Advanced materials and nano-technology; and
  • Energy and its storage
Charlie Fletcher is a partner in the tech investment team at Taylor Vinters, specialising in helping IP rich companies and investors navigate their growth journey. 

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