An interesting report by Beauhurst analyses the unannounced equity investments in the UK innovation funding market – over two-thirds of the total.

Key findings

  • 68% of equity deals are not announced to the public
  • 30p in every £1 invested in UK companies is kept under wrap
  • 76% of deals under £500k are unannounced, compared with 13% of investments over £10m
  • Seed-stage start-ups are the least likely to announce their funding rounds
  • First and second-time fundraisings are far less likely to be announced than later raises
  • Fundraisings are more likely to be unannounced by companies based in the South of England than in the North
  • Unlike almost every other sector, deals secured by Challenger Banks are more likely to be announced than not

Why

There are numerous reasons why a business may decide not to disclose fresh funding: the company could be operating in ‘stealth mode’ and so wants to stay under the radar; the round could be a precursor to a more significant event that they don’t want to hint at, such as an IPO; the company is hiding a down round—a deal in which shares are sold at a lower price than before; or the round is simply not seen as newsworthy or relevant.

With such a large proportion of equity deals going unannounced, it’s not surprising that 40% of UK startups and scaleups have raised a silent round. And this includes some of the most valuable companies in the country, as 58% of active UK unicorns (private companies worth over $1b) have secured an unannounced deal— and for 1 in 3 of them, their very first equity raise was not announced to the press.

For those start-ups and scaleups concerned about raising the innovation funding they need to continue to develop, this analysis should be seen as encouraging, particularly if they are seeking investments under £500k.

The key consideration though is understanding exactly what funding is required and why, and whether sources of non-diluting finance should be considered at this stage, to avoid the risk of giving away too much equity when in a relatively weak position.

Infintec

We specialise in helping tech business scale and access the innovation funding they require to fulfil their potential.

Through our Qualifier and Blitz processes we help our clients identify their true potential and develop their R&D and Finance road maps. We then help them assess, prioritise and access the right funding for their business.

Sources of funding

Infintec cover all relevant sources of funding – both equity and non-dilution. The latter includes:

  • R&D Grants
  • Government backed loan schemes
  • Growth Finance
  • Partner Funding
  • Asset/Debt Finance

So, if you are looking to raise finance, don’t necessarily dive straight into equity investment – let Infintec help you make sure you look at the alternatives first.

www.infintec.org