Equity investment in UK remains stagnant for 2017

Report from Beauhurst finds that despite marginal improvement in deal volume, the number was 6.72% lower than the same quarter last year

Despite a marginal improvement in deal volume equity funding in the UK has remained stagnant in comparison to the steady growth seen before 2016, according to Beauhurst’s latest investment review The Deal.

Analysis of the first quarter of the year found that overall deal numbers rose by 2.7% on the last quarter 2016, yet were still 6.72% lower than in the same quarter last year and only amongst early-stage deals.

At the same time, the total amount invested increased by 2.2% to £938m – the highest since the first quarter of 2016.

In total, there were 305 deals in the first quarter of 2017 with the biggest growth seen in the medical technology and life sciences sectors.

Mobile-only bank Atom, which secured £83m in March; peer-to-peer lender Funding Circle, which raised two major funding rounds in January; and cancer treatment start-up Cell Medica, were responsible for the biggest deals of the first quarter of the year.

Crowdfunding saw an 11% jump in deal numbers, with almost £45m invested across 80 deals. With 35 and 29 deals respectively, Seedrs and Crowdcube were the top investors in the first quarter of 2017. Again, growth in crowdfunding was only seen in early-stage deals.

While the West Midlands (200% increase), Yorkshire & Humberside and the South West (both 100% increase) all saw a significant jump in deal numbers on Q4 2016, the South East – the second busiest region for equity investment after London – and the East Midlands both saw more than a 50% decline in deal volume.

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